WITH local temperatures predicted to reach the low 30s tomorrow and Saturday, the Tasmania Fire Service has declared a Day of Total Fire Ban for the while state, coupled with a fire weather warning from the Bureau of Meteorology.
No fires may be lit or allowed to remain alight in the open air from 2am on December 31 until the same time on January 2. This includes (but is not limited to) incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots, and wood-fuelled barbecues. Machinery including lawn mowers that could cause a spark, should not be used.
In New Norfolk the temperature is forecast to reach 32 tomorrow (Friday) and 34 on Saturday, before dropping to 25 on Sunday with a 70% chance of showers. Similar temperatures are expected at Maydena, Ouse and Tarraleah.
“With hot temperatures forecast for tomorrow and Saturday which will see the fire danger rating reaching Very High, and potentially Severe in some areas, a Total Fire Ban has been declared,” Tasmania Fire Service acting northern regional chief Ian Bounds said.
“The Total Fire Ban will be in effect for the whole of the state, from 2am on Friday 31 December 2021 to 2am on Sunday 2 January 2022. From 2am tomorrow morning, no fires will be permitted in the open, including incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots, and wood-fuelled barbecues,” Mr Bounds said
Operators of machinery are to comply with the TFS Machinery Operations Guidelines (available here). This requires shutdown of operations when certain conditions are reached. Operators not following these guidelines are required to cease operations for the duration of the Total Fire Ban. Authorised New Year fireworks displays which have been certified through WorkSafe with a permit allocated are allowed to proceed. Operators are to undertake a risk assessment of the surrounding areas and ensure a Fire Plan is established.
“Over the coming days, Tasmania Fire Service will have crews and firefighting aircraft pre-positioned and prepared across the state for any fires,” Mr Bounds said. “Tasmania Police will be undertaking additional patrols to assist in compliance of the Total Fire Ban restrictions,” he said.
“People living in a bushfire prone area are urged to prepare their property, review their bushfire survival plan, and keep up-to-date on changing conditions as the warm weather progresses. If anyone doesn’t already have a bushfire survival plan prepared, now is the time to do a 5-minute bushfire plan – it’s an easy online tool that will help you plan what to do to keep yourself and everyone in your household safe in the event of a bushfire. This is especially important if you and your family are in unfamiliar locations, for example camping or visiting friends.
“Anyone who has had a campfire over recent days is to ensure it is completely extinguished prior to 2am tomorrow morning and rechecked prior to leaving the site. As a preventative measure, any landowner who has recently had a fire on their property is urged to check the fire area immediately to ensure it is properly extinguished before the total fire ban comes into effect.
“Anyone who sees a fire in the open over the coming days is urged to report promptly to Triple Zero (000). More information on Total Fire Bans and incidents in your area can be found at www.fire.tas.gov.au or by listening to ABC Local Radio.