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Big dry causes big fires in the Top End

BLAZING: Bushfires NT crews have been kept busy in areas stretching from Humpty Doo to Adelaide River for more than a week, responding to numerous grass and scrub fires.
BLAZING: Bushfires NT crews have been kept busy in areas stretching from Humpty Doo to Adelaide River for more than a week, responding to numerous grass and scrub fires. Bushfires NT

CONDITIONS fanning destructive bushfires through Darwin's rural area show no sign of letting up in the coming days.

A large area of the Top End stretching from Darwin to Adelaide River has been under total fire ban conditions for a week as dry and windy conditions prevailed.

Bushfires NT crews have been kept busy in areas stretching from Humpty Doo to Adelaide River for more than a week, responding to numerous grass and scrub fires.

Last week a fire that started at Berry Springs at one stage threatened to jump from the southern side of Cox Peninsular Rd to the northern side and rip through the Territory Wildlife Park.

Fire crews managed to get the fire under control and extinguish it before it jumped the road, tasking choppers and planes to water bomb the area.

On Sunday, the water bombers were called on again when another set of fires driven by strong winds and dry conditions took hold further along Cox Peninsular Rd and further to the south near Batchelor.

One landowner at Tumbling Waters, about 60km south of Darwin, was lucky to save his house but his mango crop was destroyed along with a substantial amount of property.

While no homes were destroyed in the blaze, more than 800ha of land was burnt before crews managed to contain the fire.

Bushfires NT chief fire control officer Andrew Turner said the cause of the fire would be investigated.

Mr Turner said the big wet season meant there was a huge fuel load in the rural area, which helped fires to take hold.

The fire near Adelaide River just days before was burning across about 15,000ha and took crews almost 20 hours to bring under control with the help of water bombing aircraft.

Ironically, in the middle of the fire threats, Darwin residents shivered through their coldest night of the year on Monday.

In the city the mercury dropped to a little more than 15 degrees, while the rural area hit a low of 10.

Weather bureau duty forecaster Gabriel Branescu said fire conditions would continue to be a concern in the wider region as windy conditions were expected to prevail in the Top End in days to come.

"We expect the windy conditions to continue and combined with the dry air that we also expect to remain for coming days, it will make fire conditions quite bad across the whole Darwin and Daly district.”

Topics:  bushfires fire alert fire ban northern territory


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