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Catastrophic fire threat issued for part of NT

A large bushfire has been burning near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory.

A large bushfire has been burning near Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Photo: Fire NT

Northern Territory emergency services are braced for catastrophic fire conditions with a total fire ban for the Barkly region.

A total fire ban for vast swathes of the territory stretching from Kalkarindji to Tennant Creek has been issued until midnight on Friday.

The Bureau of Meteorology warns the fire danger threat is expected to deepen on Friday.

“Warm and dry with moderate to fresh and gusty east to southeasterly winds combined with high grass fuel loads will result in elevated fire dangers in the Gregory South East and Barkly North fire weather districts,” the bureau warned.

Authorities are bracing for wind gusts of up to 55km/h to fan the fires already burning throughout the region.

Warnings are in place for fires burning on multiple fronts at Tennant Creek, Epenerra on the Tablelands and the Gregory National Park at Kalkarindji.

“A fire which is spreading on one or more fronts. Effective containment strategies are not in place for the entire perimeter,” firefighters warn.

“For the safety of firefighting crews and other vehicles, drivers in the area are urged to slow down, turn on headlights and drive safely for the conditions.”

Campgrounds in the Gregory National Park remain closed.

The dire conditions come after authorities were forced to declare an emergency as a fire four times the size of the ACT threatened the region at Tennant Creek.

Hot and dry conditions are forecast for vast parts of central Australia heading into the bushfire season after the Bureau of Meteorology officially declared an El Nino weather event.

Extreme heat is one of the most direct and measurable shocks from climate change and one of the deadliest, according to the Climate Council.

A report released by the council on Wednesday found existing government targets leave Australia “barrelling towards catastrophe”.

– AAP

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