THE Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) has declared a total fire ban for southern Tasmania. The ban is in force for the 24 hours from midnight tonight (Friday).
This includes the Derwent Valley and Central Highlands municipalities as well as Brighton, Clarence, Glamorgan/Spring Bay, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman.
“The Bureau of Meteorology forecast for hot, dry and windy conditions makes it necessary to ban all fires out of doors in the Southern Region,” TFS chief officer Mike Brown said. “The vegetation in most of the state remains dry despite recent rains. Forecast conditions will cause any fires to develop quickly making control difficult.”
Mr Brown encouraged everyone to take responsibility for their safety, the safety of their families and their property. “If you live in or near the bush, review your bushfire survival plan and be prepared to implement that plan if required,” he said.
The ban includes the use of cutting, welding or other similar equipment in the open. Campers and others who intend to cook in the open should plan to use gas or electric stoves for the entire weekend. Operators of agricultural machinery used to harvest crops or slash grass are encouraged to take particular care, although their use is not included in this ban.
Northern and North-Western Tasmania will also experience high fire danger conditions. A fire ban is not in place for these regions but people need to be careful using fire and consider delaying activities that may involve its use.
Significant penalties can be imposed on anyone not adhering to both the fire ban restrictions and Tasmania Police will conduct regular patrols. All fires should be reported by dialling triple zero (000).