Friday, January 4, 2013

New Norfolk provides refuge

The car park at the New Norfolk evacuation centre tonight
ABOUT 40 people are bedding down at New Norfolk's Carinya Education Park in Blair St tonight, having sought refuge from the bushfire ravaging much of the Upper Derwent Valley. The centre was activated earlier today, as it was not practical for evacuees from this side of Ellendale to reach the designated community fire refuge at Ouse.

Derwent Valley Council emergency co-ordinator David Bradford led a team including council staff and councillors who soon had the Carinya facility - a former school hostel - up and running. Earlier, one or two evacuees had been hosted at the council social rooms in Circle St. Deputy mayor Barry Lathey praised everyone's efforts, including local businesses who donated supplies including food and drink.

It was a case of history repeating itself for several evacuees from Westerway who had been forced to leave their homes ahead of the disastrous Meadowbank fire early last year. There were also a number of displaced tourists amongst those seeking refuge.

Hobart and Bushy Park reached record temperatures today (41.8 and 39.8). New Norfolk has no official weather station but a top temperature of 41.2 was observed at New Norfolk Newscentral, where, just shy of midnight, it remains 30.8 degrees. It is 31.3 degrees in Hobart, 27.8 at Bushy Park and 24.8 at Ouse.

As the New Norfolk News signs off we pay tribute to the efforts of all firefighters, police, ambulance officers and associated emergency service and welfare volunteers serving the community tonight.

Click here for the latest update from the Tasmania Fire Service and listen to ABC local radio.

Smoke from the Repulse fire fills the sky over New Norfolk at dusk tonight

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