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Preparing for a high fire danger weekend

THE Tasmania Fire Service is preparing for extreme fire danger in some parts of the state this weekend, and with strong winds forecast, a Total Fire Ban has been declared for southern Tasmania on Sunday. Acting southern regional chief officer Phil Smith said a fire permit suspension in southern Tasmania had already been announced, but with forecast conditions worsening, a Total Fire Ban was necessary.

“While temperatures aren’t expected to be particularly high, strong winds and dry conditions means this is the safest way to protect our communities,” Mr Smith said. “These decisions are made in the best interest of our community members, and we appreciate everyone’s understanding and co-operation.”

Mr Smith said the Total Fire Ban would apply to the entire southern region from 2am on Sunday (March 3) until 2am on Monday. “This means no fires will be permitted in the open in southern Tasmania, including incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots, and wood-fuelled barbecues,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Smith said firefighting efforts in the Central Highlands and surrounding areas were continuing to make good progress. “While we have other resources on hand for the weekend if required, we really need Tasmanians to help us keep our communities safe. Fires are also continuing to emerge from the recent lightning strikes on Wednesday evening. We have had several starts which crews and aircraft have managed and will continue surveillance flights across the state.

“Our message to people this weekend is to stay alert, make good decisions, and report any fire or smoke activity to us immediately on Triple Zero (000).”

To check the Fire Danger Rating in your area, visit https://www.fire.tas.gov.au/fire-danger-rating/summary/

For bushfire warnings and alerts, visit TasAlert.com

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

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