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Lakes bushfire update ahead of Total Fire Ban

ALTHOUGH the bushfires in the Upper Derwent Valley/Central Highlands are now contained, the Tasmania Fire Service is urging vigilance as strong winds are expected this afternoon and tomorrow (Sunday). Incident controller Mark Klop said about 150 firefighters from Tasmania Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania continue to work on the fires, supported by TFS incident management staff.

“Many roads in the vicinity of the fires have now been opened, however, Portal and Lake Echo roads remain closed due to ongoing firefighting activities,” Mr Klop said. “For road closures, please keep up-to-date at https://www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/.”

“Motorists and anyone considering camping or hunting in the Central Highlands are still asked to avoid the areas that have been affected by the fires. Fire-affected trees may become unstable and have a significant risk of falling, particularly in windy conditions. We thank community members for their patience and understanding while firefighting activities continue in the area,” Mr Klop said.

People are also reminded that extreme fire danger is forecast in some parts of the state this weekend, and with strong winds forecast, a Total Fire Ban has been declared for southern Tasmania tomorrow.

Mr Klop said that while temperatures aren’t expected to be particularly high, strong winds and dry conditions means this is the safest way to protect our communities. “Sunday fire conditions will be challenging and our capacity to respond in forecast weather conditions will be restricted. The Total Fire Ban will apply to the entire southern region of Tasmania from 2am, Sunday, March 3 until 2am on Monday, March 4.”

“This means no fires will be permitted in the open in Southern Tasmania, including incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots, and wood-fuelled barbecues. Operating commercial appliances such as pizza ovens, conducting hot works, forest operations and use of machinery will be permitted, provided they adhere with the relevant guidelines available on the TFS website: https://www.fire.tas.gov.au/about/rules-during-fire-permit-periods-and-total-fire-bans.”

For current bushfire warnings and alerts visit TasAlert.com or listen to ABC Radio as your emergency broadcaster.

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

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