ACT bushfire alert level downgraded

Colin Brinsden
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BUSHFIRES ACT

A 55,000-hectare bushfire in Orroral Valley south of the ACT has been downgraded to 'advice' level

The bushfire in the south of the ACT has been further downgraded as fire activity eases although the territory is forecast to face a storm later on Sunday.

The ACT's Emergency Services Agency said the Orroral Valley bushfire is now at "advice" level, a downgrade from the "watch and act" that had stood since late on Saturday and after briefly reaching "emergency" levels

"Fire activity eased across the fire ground, but falling trees remain a risk," the agency said in a statement.

Earlier ACT Emergency Services Agency Commissioner Georgeina Whelan warned conditions can and may change quickly.

Temperatures in the nation's capital were slightly cooler on Sunday after topping 40C for two consecutive days, hitting 42.7C on Saturday.

The commissioner said a storm is forecast to hit the nation's capital.

"Perfect storm conditions for us would be rain and no thunder and no wind in the gap of land that has not been burnt between our southern borders," she said.

"However, this cannot be guaranteed. Our community needs to be prepared for the impact this storm may have on our southern and western suburbs."

Chief Minister Andrew Barr told reporters said a lot of effort went into protecting the southern suburbs of Canberra and particularly the rural village of Tharwa.

"Thanks to the combined work of government emergency service agencies and the Australian Defence Force there has been no loss of life and no loss of property (in the ACT)," he said.

"The fire did cross the NSW border, and unfortunately some property loss occurred Bumbalong."

He said there are still days and possibly weeks of firefighting ahead.

On Saturday, Mr Barr said the state of emergency in the territory is expected to remain until at least Monday.