THE Upper Derwent Valley town of Ouse is on alert tonight as a large bushfire rages at nearby Cleveland, about 3km west along the Lyell Highway. The Tasmania Fire Service has placed Ouse on the "watch and act" alert, recommending that householders start taking action to protect themselves and their family (more details below).
The Ouse fire and three others in the Upper Derwent Valley have cast a pall across southern Tasmania tonight, as far north as Bagdad. The Ouse fire was reported at about 6pm and has not yet been brought under control. The fire service advises that the fire danger rating in the area is high to very high and fires under these conditions can be difficult to control.
The fire may affect the community of Ouse within the next 6-24 hours. It is currently creating spot-fires up to 1-2 km ahead. These may threaten homes earlier than the predicted main fire front. There may be embers, smoke and ash falling on Ouse.
A large amount of fire service resources have been directed to assist the community and will maintain a presence and will patrol overnight. There are 27 vehicles on site, including 12 light tankers, four medium tankers, five heavy tankers, one car and three personnel carriers.
What to do if you live at Ouse:
- Start taking action now to protect you and your family.
- Check your bushfire plan now; well constructed and prepared homes are defendable in these conditions.
- If you don’t have a bushfire plan or your plan is to leave, prepare to leave for a safer place, such as a relative or friends place away from the area.
- Consider leaving the affected area if conditions worsen if the path is clear.
- Non-residents should stay away from the affected areas. Stay informed in case conditions change.
- Monitor ABC Radio and www.fire.tas.gov.au for further instructions.
CONSIDERABLE resources are also on the scene of a 1600 hectare vegetation fire at Wayatinah Rd, Wayatinah. Reported at about 3.30 this afternoon, the fire is being held but remains uncontrolled and is expected to continue spreading slowly in an easterly direction overnight towards Ouse. A predicted ease in weather conditions overnight is expected to assist operations. There are two strike teams, 22 fire crews and numerous other resources from Norske Skoge and private contractors in attendance.
TASMANIA Fire Service and Forestry Tasmania crews are working to contain and bring under control a fire under control in a forest plantation at Broad River, Dawson Rd and Ellendale Rd, Repulse, which was reported at around 5.45 this evening.
FORESTRY Tasmania and Parks and Wildlife Service crews are patrolling a 51 hectare fire at Snake Rd in the Franklin/Gordon Wildrivers National Park, which was reported at about 2.30 this afternoon.
These three fires are all at the "advice" alert level, which indicates that a fire has started but there is no immediate danger.
If there is any fire activity causing you concern, report it to the Tasmania Fire Service calling 000.