Brigades on double duty for hot day response

WITH local temperatures hovering around 35 degrees at lunchtime today (Thursday), the Tasmania Fire Service has strike teams positioned at key locations across the state, including New Norfolk. The TFS has initiated a hot day response across the state and a total fire ban has been declared for southern Tasmania.

TFS deputy chief officer Matt Lowe said a total fire ban was now in force for southern Tasmania until 2am on Saturday. He said strike teams were based at New Norfolk and Sorell, poised to be deployed to the Upper Derwent Valley, Midlands, South East and East Coast regions.

“Our statewide hot day response doubles the initial brigade response to any fires that do occur and our aerial firefighting fleet remains on hand ready to respond and support ground crews across Tasmania,” Mr Lowe said.

“Late yesterday afternoon, five fires were reported in the Brady’s Lake area. TFS responded with aircraft and firefighting crews undertaking fire suppression late into the night.” At the time of writing, one fire in that area ias a “watch and act” leven and four are at “advice” level. Check for updates at TasAlert.com or listen to ABC Radio.

Mr Lowe said the current fire danger rating forecasts were high for most districts today and tomorrow, and predicted to reach extreme in the East Coast, Midlands, South East and Upper Derwent Valley today. “This now means that no fires are permitted in the open in southern Tasmania, including incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots, and wood-fuelled barbecues,” he said.

“Earlier this week we announced that all southern fire permits were suspended until further notice and now with a total fire ban in place, anyone planning on lighting even a small fire must not do so. These measures are designed to protect our communities, and keep people safe, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and co-operation.”

Mr Lowe urged the community to prepare and remain vigilant for any smoke or fires. “If you do see a fire or smoke in the area today, report it straight away,” he said. “We need everyone to play their part and continue to be as prepared as possible. Your home is more likely to survive a bushfire if you have prepared it properly. Don’t wait until it’s too late, prepare now and make sure you have a bushfire plan in place.”

Picture: Lachlan Fire Brigade members on standby at their station today.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news online and read our print edition every second Friday.

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