The FIA World Rally Championship has canceled the season finale—the Kennards Hire Rally Australia—due to the serious bushfires affecting the New South Wales region close to the event’s Coffs Harbour base.
The organizers announced the news on Tuesday after widespread consultation with the state government, the FIA, emergency services and the local community. The New South Wales state is experiencing its worst fire conditions, resulting in the declaration of a state of emergency, a total fire ban and conditions in some regions classified as catastrophic.
Event chairman Andrew Papadopoulos said the cancellation was the only course available, considering the need to take care of more than 1,000 people involved as officials and competitors and in other roles.
Ott Tanak clinched the WRC championship at Rally Spain, which turned out to be the final event of the season.