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Saturday update: 80 firefighters tackling lakes bushfires today

FIREFIGHTING efforts are continuing across the three fires of concern in the Upper Derwent Valley/Central Highlands of Tasmania: Lanes Tier, Ouse; Bradys Lake; and Mentmore Tier, Dee  and surrounds.

The Tasmania Fire Service has about 80 firefighters on the fire ground today, supported by 12 aircraft and 10 heavy machinery vehicles.“ The total number of hectares burnt is now approximately 5000 and to date there has been no further property losses,” incident controller Mark Klop said this afternoon.

“We are prioritising our response in areas where there are houses and other assets. The fires remain active and a change in weather conditions could put properties at risk and make roads unsafe – people in the area must take action to protect themselves and their families,” Mr Klop said.

“The Lanes Tier fire in particular has the potential to expand and impact properties. We are urging people to be aware of the conditions and monitor for updates on warnings at TasAlert. If you are not ready for a bushfire, be ready to leave for a safer place. The best option is to stay with family or friends.

“If you don’t live near these areas, please stay away.  The roads can become highly dangerous and there are a number of roads closed in the area for safety reasons. We understand that people want to return to their properties as soon as they can. Safety assessments are being undertaken and roads will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. With the opening of deer season, we want to discourage recreational hunters from coming into or through the fire area.

  • For information on current road closures, visit the Tasmania Police website: police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/
  • For bushfire warnings and alerts, visit TasAlert.com or listen to ABC Radio as your emergency broadcaster.
  • Be aware there may be smoke on the roads, drive with caution and allow plenty of time. Keep up to date with current road closures on TasAlert.com

Mr Klop issued a reminder that police were seeking information about the cause of the fires. “It’s likely that two of the five fires reported on Wednesday were deliberately lit. If anyone saw anything suspicious in the area on Wednesday, whether it was a person or a vehicle – please pass that information on to police,” he said.

SUNDAY: Community meeting at Ouse

A COMMUNITY meeting with representatives from the Tasmania Fire Service will be held on Sunday, February 25, in relation to the Dee/Bradys Lake bushfires. The purpose is to inform and reassure the community, give an update on the fire situation, and answer any questions or concerns.

The meeting is intended for the communities of Dee, Brady’s Lake, Tarraleah, Lake Binney, Victoria Valley and Ouse. Residents of surrounding areas are welcome to attend the meeting if they have any questions. The meeting will be in the Ouse Hall, 6955 Lyell Hwy, at 10am.

Power outages

THE fires have resulted in power supplies being interrupted in the affected areas. The 99 customers without power at Bothwell. Osterley, Ouse and Victoria Valley have been advised to expect long days. A further 34 customers have lost their electricity supply at Dee, London Lakes and Victoria Valley and these have an expected restoration by 11.30am on Monday. Follow www.tasnetworks.com.au/outages for details.

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

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