Litchfield NP swimmers given fright of their lives

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Litchfield National Park grassfire
Tourists flee as grassfire breaks out in Litchfield National Park. PIC: Carolina Mueller/ABC

A group of tourists swimming at the Northern Territory’s Litchfield National Park got the scare of their lives last week … and there wasn’t a croc in sight!

The travellers were taking a dip at the Upper Cascades waterway when they found themselves surrounded by smoke. Incredibly, a large grassfire was encroaching on the area, with the fire authorities having no idea was burning.

When a group of travellers tried to make their way up the track towards the car park they found they couldn’t get through because there was too much fire around. The visitors said they were panicked by the fact there were no rangers in sight.

“We were all quite calm until one other girl who’s a local started stressing a little bit,” tourist, Carolina Mueller, told the ABC. “Then we all started stressing.”

With the alternative being to travel downstream through potentially croc-inhabited water, the ABC reports that the group made a beeline for the car park through the ash and dense smoke.

“We just kind of sprinted our way through the fires,” Ms Mueller told the ABC. “We picked up a few other tourists who were sitting on rocks and freaking out themselves.”

Litchfield National Park is a mobile phone blackspot.

But park rangers admitted they were unaware of the fire.

“To be honest, we weren’t aware that there was a fire at Cascades on Sunday afternoon,” chief district ranger Julie Heran told the ABC.
“We think that the fire must’ve started in an area adjacent to the park boundary and just made its way through to Cascades without the awareness of the staff that were working on the weekend.”

While banks of smoke have blanketed parts of the Top End in recent months, officials also said there were no prescribed burn-offs in the area at the weekend.

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4 Responses to Litchfield NP swimmers given fright of their lives

  1. So fires are still slowly destroying the Top End. All in the name of something???

  2. Yes it’s called controlled burn offs.,not always correct. Not always controlled

  3. When was the last time property or lives were lost in the Terotory because of bush fires ????????
    The regular burning up hear work’s

  4. Agree with you Graham. They need regulated burnoffs during winter to reduce larger more destructive fires later on.

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