Friday, October 2, 2015

Total fire ban tomorrow (Saturday)

TOTAL FIRE BAN - SOUTHERN TASMANIA
October 3, 2015

DUE to very high winds and locally warm weather conditions throughout today and forecasted very high winds and higher temperatures for Saturday, Tasmania Fire Service chief officer Gavin Freeman has declared a Total Fire Ban for southern Tasmania from midnight tonight (October 2) until midnight Saturday (October 3).

"Bushfires driven by high winds will be very difficult to control," Mr Freeman said. "The bush is already dry in many areas around the state and a prediction of a severe fire danger rating for much of the south on Saturday, which only occurs 3 to 4 times in a normal season, means that a total fire ban is warranted."

Mr Freeman said it was pleasing that many land owners had been conducting hazard reduction burns over the last few weeks to prepare their properties for the bushfire season. However, any fire that has been lit must now be properly extinguished prior to the ban coming into effect.

With the dry conditions already influencing the bush and grass and predicted winds of over 100km/h tomorrow, no fires are permitted in the open. All Tasmanians are asked to take extra care with machinery that emit sparks, such as mowers, slashers, grinders and other cutting tools, as this type of activity has the potential to start fires. For those in the Southern half of Tasmania planning grand final day activities on Saturday, only gas-fired barbecues can be used.

"While the ban is in place please avoid non-essential water use. Turning off sprinkler systems and using hoses sparingly will help ensure that water is available for firefighting and protecting properties should it be required," Mr Freeman said.

People should monitor the local ABC radio station or visit TFS website (www.fire.tas.gov.au) to keep up to date with conditions.

Mr Freeman said everyone living in and around the bush needs to review their Bushfire Survival Plan now and be prepared to implement that plan if required. Details on how to prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan, preparing your property for bushfires, or other fire safety tips can be found from the front page of the TFS website.

"There are significant penalties that can be imposed on anyone not adhering to the Total Fire Ban restrictions," Mr Freeman said.

All fires should be reported by dialling 000.

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