Friday: total fire ban in the valley

FRIDAY, January 11, has has been declared a Day of Total Fire Ban for the Derwent Valley as well as the following municipalities: Brighton, Hobart, Sorell, Central Highlands, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Huon Valley, Southern Midlands, Clarence, Glenorchy, Kingborough and Tasman.

No fires may be lit or allowed to remain alight in the open air from 2am Friday, January 11, until 2am Saturday, January 12. This applies to all outdoor fire, including incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots and wood-fuelled barbecues.

The Tasmania Fire Service says weather predictions provided by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate Very High fire danger ratings for several districts including the Derwent Valley and Midlands. The conditions are forecast to be windy and dry with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees in certain areas.

The declaration of a Total Fire Ban means that no fires can be lit in the open air. Landowners with fires already burning or fires they have recently had on their property are required to make sure they are completely extinguished.

People are encouraged to visit the Tasmania Fire Service website to view the Community Bushfire Protection Plans for their area. These provide information about Nearby Safer Places, evacuation routes and how to receive emergency information. Information is also included that will assist in preparing individual emergency plans prior to a fire occurring.

More information on Total Fire Bans and incidents can be found at or by listening to ABC Local Radio.

Twelve firefighters and two remote area paramedics from the New South Wales Rural Fire Service arrived today to assist with the response to the Gell River fire.

“These self-sufficient crews, called ‘arduous rated remote area firefighters’, will be sent to the wilderness area of the fireground first thing tomorrow morning,” TFS chief officer Chris Arnol said. “Their skills include the ability to camp on the fireline in remote wilderness areas and carry their own firefighting equipment.

“The crew from NSW will complement the work being done Tasmanian remote area teams from Parks and Wildlife and Tasmania Fire Service. They will be focussing on a specific edge of the fire that suits their skills.”

Mr Arnol said these firefighters will be in Tasmania for five days, with another group arriving for a second five day period next week.

In light of the fire conditions on Friday and Saturday, the TFS recommends Tasmanians living in areas at risk of bushfire:

  • Review their bushfire survival plan and decide now what to do if a fire starts nearby
  • Check the local fire danger
  • Stay up-to-date on fires in the local area by checking the TFS website and listening to ABC Local Radio

Anyone who sees a fire should call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

General advice on a day of Total Fire Ban

Tools and Equipment: Tools and equipment that use a naked flame or generate sparks such as welding or grinding, must not be used in the open air. If essential works are required to be done a special permit may be issued, after a thorough investigation of each application. Apply to your TFS Regional Office.

Barbecues that use wood, charcoal or other solid fuel are banned: Gas and electric barbecues are permitted subject to the strict application of the conditions set out below. Gas and electric barbecues provided in public reserves/campsites may be used providing:
the barbecue is electric or gas fired

  • the barbecue is fixed permanent structure.

Portable gas and electric barbecues may be used provided the barbecue is located within 20 metres of a permanent dwelling (mobile homes, caravans or tents are not classified as permanent dwellings).

Additional conditions that apply to the use of portable electric and gas fired barbecues and barbecues in public reserves and campsites:
the area for 3 metres around and above the barbecue is completely cleared of flammable material.

  • an adult is in attendance at all times
  • a tap with hose connected is ready for use
  • at least 10 litres of water is on hand in case of emergency.

Water Usage: For information regarding water usage during a day of Total Fire Ban please refer to 

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