Fire Kakadu's Gunlom campground
19 October 2009
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A fire swept through Kakadu’s Gunlom campground on Sunday 18 October. No-one was camping in the area at the time and there were no injuries.
Seven tents and beds erected for the dry season by Odyssey Tours and Safaris and four belonging to Lord’s Kakadu and Arnhemland Safaris were destroyed. Solar panels were unharmed.
Park infrastructure was undamaged, with the exception of several rubbish bins and signs which melted in the fire.
Mary River District Chief Ranger Rob Muller said yesterday’s weather conditions were extreme, with temperatures in the forties and fierce gusting winds.
“We inspected the area yesterday morning to ensure there were no camp fires as it was a total fire ban day. When we left at 11.30 am there was no sign of fire,” Rob Muller said.
“A tourist raised the alarm at 12.30 pm and by the time we arrived at 1pm the fire had burned itself out as there was a very low fuel load in the campground.
“Rangers had built fire breaks before the season and carried out fuel reduction burns, but the fire simply raged over the dry ground and through the leaf litter in the extreme conditions.”
Rangers are inspecting the area today and have informed Jabiru police as arson is suspected.
The Gunlom day use area and plunge pool are unaffected by the fire and are open today. The campground and the walk to the top are closed for the next few days.
A total fire ban is in force again today.