Friday, March 1, 2019

Total fire ban today and tomorrow

TASMANIANS are being asked to reconsider their use of fire as the state moves into several days of bad fire weather. A total fire ban has been declared for all southern municipalities today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday).

"The conditions forecast for Friday and Saturday are equal to the worst we have seen this bushfire season. Any fires that start under these conditions will be fast moving, dangerous and difficult to control," Tasmania Fire Service chief officer Chris Arnol said.

"Fire agencies and communities have already experienced a very trying bushfire season, and while it may seem that conditions have abated and life is back to normal, the community needs to be aware that we are still battling serious bushfires. The last thing any of us need is new bushfires on top of what we are already dealing with," Mr Arnol said.

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"We are strongly encouraging people in other regions not covered by the Total Fire Ban not to use fire, in order to limit the amount of fire in the landscape, as any new fire start will take significant resourcing to control. A ban on harvesting operations is in place in the south, due to several fires that have started in recent moderate conditions as a result of equipment used to slash dry vegetation.

"If a fire starts, we need people to report this immediately to TFS to allow us to respond ground crews and aircraft as quickly as possible. We currently have six uncontrolled bushfires and 22 bushfires contained and being patrolled. With high temperatures and dry, gusty conditions, it is likely some existing fires will break containment lines and threaten communities that are already fatigued by the bushfires.

"We also need people to be aware that fire operations are still under way around the state. Locals and people traveling or attending events near fire areas should keep watch for operational vehicles working on the fires. We need people to be aware of the bushfires around them, understand their risk and respond accordingly," Mr Arnol said.

TFS advises people to:

  • Review your bushfire survival plan now;
  • If you don't have a bushfire survival plan, decide now what you and your family will do if a fire breaks out in your area;
  • Report new fires immediately to TFS by calling Triple Zero;
  • Listen to ABC Local Radio and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.

A total fire ban means no fire can be lit in the open. The total fire ban will apply in these municipalities: Derwent Valley, Central Highlands, Hobart, Glenorchy, Clarence, Brighton, Sorell, Tasman, Kingborough, Huon Valley, Southern Midlands and Glamorgan-Spring Bay.

For more information on Total Fire Bans visit www.fire.tas.gov.au

Vital statistics:
Active fires: 6 listed as going, 22 in patrol
Firefighters on the ground: In the vicinity of 120 - 150 daily
Perimeter of fire edge: Almost 2000km
Area burnt: Approximately 205,000ha
Active areas of fire within existing bushfires: More than 900

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Bureau of Meteorology
Tasmania

Fire Weather Warning
for the Midlands, Upper Derwent Valley and South East forecast districts

Issued at 10.06pm on Thursday 28 February 2019.

Weather Situation: Temperatures in the mid/high 30s, low relative humidity, and west to northwesterly winds averaging 20-30km/h with gusts up to 50km/h are expected about the southeast of Tasmania on Friday afternoon.

For Friday 1 March: Very High Fire Danger is forecast for the following forecast districts: Midlands, Upper Derwent Valley and South East

The Tasmania Fire Service advises you to:

  • Action your Bushfire Survival Plan now.
  • Monitor the fire and weather situation through your local radio station, www.fire.tas.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au.
  • Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency.

For information on preparing for bushfires go to www.fire.tas.gov.au.

The next warning will be issued by 5am Friday.

LOCAL CLOSURES TODAY AND TOMORROW
New Norfolk and National Park tip sites: closed due to Total Fire Ban
Mt Field National Park: cafe and day-use areas are open this weekend, but alpine walks and Lake Dobson Rd are closed until Monday.

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