Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Ellendale residents warned

ELLENDALE residents have been told that the still uncontrolled Lake Repulse fire could intensify in tomorrow's predicted high temperatures. The forecast for Ouse, Bushy Park and New Norfolk is 31 degrees and a little light rain.

Yesterday's community meeting in the Ellendale Hall heard that the fire was still burning in the "worst possible terrain" for firefighting. The fire was allegedly started by an unattended campfire on January 3 and has burned out of control since then. Severe conditions in the extreme heat of January 4 saw many residents of the Ellendale and Westerway area evacuated to New Norfolk.

The latest information from the Tasmania Fire Service is that the main fire activity continues to be on the northern end of the western side, moving across the Broad River area. This location is very steep with rocky terrain and has proved to be very difficult for ground crews to access. Remote area teams from New Zealand and the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service are continuing to work in that area.

Forestry Tasmania and Norske Skog crews are continuing to consolidate secondary containment lines, while aerial surveillance with infra red technology has been locating hot spots on the fire's perimeter for ground crews to effectively blacken out.

Updates on the fire can be found on the Tasmania Fire Service website at http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/

The Mercury newspaper's report on yesterday's meeting can be read here.

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