Bushfire latest – Thursday evening update

Staff from Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, Mountain
Trails, NSW Rural Fire Service and New Zealand fire service
who worked together to protect the Government Huts at Mt
Field National Park yesterday.

A SOUTHWESTERLY wind change and more moderate fire weather conditions have eased the threat to a number of Tasmanian communities today. The Tasmania Fire Service says a front which moved across the state in the early hours of this morning has allowed fire crews to shore up containment lines and actively attack fire edges on the Riveaux Rd and Great Pine Tier fires.

In the Huon Valley, conditions allowed TFS crews to reassess the risk posed to a number of communities. This led to a reduction in the number of Emergency Warnings in place. Property and infrastructure impact assessments were also undertaken where access could be gained.

At Murdunna the fire was contained by fire crews and machinery and is not currently of concern.

South of Waddamana, conditions on the Great Pine Tier fire allowed firefighters to shore up containment lines at Lake Echo and also allowed inspection and additional risk assessments of power transmission lines.

At the Gell River fire, remote area teams worked to contain the fire to the south of the Mt Field National between the Lake Gordon and Florentine Roads. However, the fire has entered the southwest end of the park. Preparations are under way to protect identified environmental and heritage values.

In Zeehan and Rosebery, 26 remote area firefighters supported by machinery worked to strengthen containments lines and extinguish hotspots at the Lynch Hill and Western Hill fires. At Lynch Hill the fire crossed a containment line on the Huskisson River. Plans are in place to insert remote area firefighters to tackle the fire tomorrow.

The fire at Brittons Swamp continued to grow today pushed by strong winds. Fire crews supported by aircraft worked to slow the fires spread.

Two new fires were reported today at Wombat Peak just to the southwest of Lake Pedder, and at Bridport. The Wombat Peak fire was detected by at a spotter flight and was caused by lighting. It will be assessed further tomorrow. The fire at Bridport was quickly contained and the cause is being investigated.

TFS would like to advise that despite the easing conditions and downgrading of some alerts these fire remain a risk to nearby communities. Fires are very unpredictable and even a small change in the weather conditions can cause a fire to quickly spread or change direction.

If you do not need to be in the areas under an Emergency Warning or Watch and Act then stay away. If you return to your home you need to monitor the conditions closely and stay alert. Conditions can change quickly.

TFS advise you to:
Stay up to date at www.fire.tas.gov.au or by listening to ABC local radio.
Visit the www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/ for road closures.


The Government Huts at Mt Field wrapped up for protection
from ember attacks and radiant heat. Picture: Kyle Richard/PWS

PARKS and Wildlife Staff have spent much time planning and implementing protection plans for various reserves, using different tactics to their normal firefighting approaches.

PWS has established sprinkler lines around sensitive vegetation at Lake Rhona and Mt Anne, and conducted retardant drops to slow down fire runs.

Steps have also been taken to protect historic heritage currently under threat at Mt Field. A team has been wrapping some of the huts to reduce the likelihood of them burning down. These measures won’t stop a direct fire from destroying the huts, but will reduce the likelihood of damage from an ember attack or radiant heat from a nearby fire.

This was a great effort by firefighters from the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, Mountain Trails, the NSW Rural Fire Service and New Zealand fire service.

On Wednesday the well-known Government Huts and Twilight Tarn hut were wrapped, with plans to do more if conditions permit. The crew completed this before the weather closed in and they needed to leave the area while the helicopter could still move them out. Remarkably, considering recent weather conditions, snow was forecast for Mt Field today.

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