Sunday: fire conditions to worsen

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FIRE conditions are forecast to worsen on Sunday with a Total Fire Ban taking effect in southern Tasmania as well as Break O’Day, Dorset and Northern Midlands municipalities from 2am until 2am on Monday, February 4.

Very High Fire Danger, with pockets of Severe Fire Danger in the Fingal Valley, are forecast across many areas of the state. “We still have fires coming into the urban interface that are threatening our communities in the Huon Valley, Central Plateau and West Coast,” Tasmania Fire Service chief officer Chris Arnol said.

Some 189,000 hectares of burnt area has occurred to date, including 1600km of fire edge. There are currently 41 fires in the state. The Riveaux Rd fire in the Huon Valley still has approximately 50% of active fire edge. The Great Pine Tier fire in the Central Plateau has approximately 40% of active fire edge.

There is also concern for a fire at Brittons Link, Britons Swamp in the North-West, as well as a fire at Trenah, near Ringarooma and another at the Renison Mine, Renison Bell.

“We are not out of the woods yet and tomorrow’s weather will put pressure on communities, our people and resources,” Mr Arnol said. “With tomorrow’s forecast fire conditions our message is clear, leaving early is the safest option.”

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“On days of Very High Fire Danger only stay in your home if it is well prepared and you can actively defend it. Spot fires may occur several kilometres ahead of a fire. People can expect embers to spread ahead of the fire.

“Weather conditions over the last few days have greatly assisted firefighters in continuing building containment lines. 599 personnel are working on the fires today, including 148 personnel from Interstate and New Zealand, 39 aircraft are also included in today’s firefighting operations. Interstate and New Zealand support will continue while the bushfire threat remains which also allows personnel to rest.

“There will be more challenging days ahead with February historically being our worst month for fire weather. We need the community to keep checking the TFS website and listening to ABC Local Radio.

The Tasmania Fire Service and the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service will be holding community bushfire information meetings in Maydena and Huonville tomorrow:

  • Maydena: 12.30pm at the Maydena Bike Park (old primary school music room), Kallista Rd.
  • Huonville: 12.30pm & 7pm at Huonville Primary School, 74 Wilmot Road. 

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