Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bushfire update meeting tonight

Click image to enlarge.
A SECOND community meeting will be held at Maydena tonight (Thursday) for an update on the Gell River fire which is burning north-west of the town.

The meeting will be convened by the Tasmania Fire Service and the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service in the old music room behind the former primary school (now Maydena Bike Park) on Kallista Rd.

Community members are invited to attend at 7pm for an update on the fire situation. This follows an initial meeting last weekend.

TFS public information officer Andrew Emery said two fires in close proximity had been started by lightning strikes on December 27. Soon after, these fires joined to create what is being referred to as the Gell River (Southwest) fire.

"Over 60 Tasmania Fire Service, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania fire crews and incident management personnel have been working on the fire, supported by eight aircraft," Mr Emery said.

The fire has burnt about 20,500 hectares of buttongrass and mixed forest vegetation with a fire boundary of more than 100km.

Updated map of the fire area.
Click image to enlarge.
Incident controller Steve Richardson said suppression operations conducted by fire crews and water bombing aircraft had been successful to date, with many active fire edges being minimised.

"Most of the fire suppression activities involve ground crews with hand tools or hose-lays being supported by helicopters," Mr Richardson said. "Firefighters are using the best techniques and technologies suitable for the timely and safe extinguishment of this fire."

"An advice message is current for Maydena, Tyenna and National Park. This is being reviewed and updated regularly to provide the most up to date information to the public. There is currently no threat to the public however conditions can change quickly and the public is urged to monitor the TFS website for fire updates.

Air quality is being closely monitored and multiple smoke alerts have been issued during the week. As of last night, a smoke alert was current for the Derwent Valley, Huon Valley, Midlands and greater Hobart area. People with medical conditions are advised to have a personal plan for avoiding smoke from the burn.

A number of roads and walking tracks remain closed and the public is advised to check on the status of these closures by monitoring the Tasmania Police website and PWS website respectively.

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