Tas Bushfires Update 260119

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26 January 2019

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Tasmanian Fire fighters managed to reduce a number of Emergency Warnings across the state today (Sat-26-Jan-19) but the threat still remains in some centres.

There are 52 fires in Tasmania today with 23 of those having active fire edges. Over the past month, fires have burned through 99,000 hectares of land - much of this in remote and challenging terrain.

"The key thing we need people to be aware of is even though conditions are milder today, this could be regarded as the 'eye of the storm'," said Deputy Chief Officer Bruce Byatt.

"Several communities remain at risk from the Great Pine Tier and Riveaux Road/Tahune fire, and Emergency and Watch and Act warnings remain in place.

Last night erratic fire activity in the Tahune area brought the fire front closer to the outer areas of Geeveston, with embers falling in the Air Walk.

"A significant amount of effort has gone into protecting the Air Walk, and remote area crews have been there around the clock. We have a significant presence in the township of Geeveston ready to assist if spot fires do break out.

"We are incredibly grateful to the Geeveston and Huon community for heeding our warnings and making the sensible decision to leave early either to evacuation centres or completely out of the area.

Three community meetings were held in the Huon today.

The Great Pine Tier fire is now almost 40,000 hectares.
"There was significant fire activity in the Wadamanna area last night and this remains of great concern, with significant power infrastructure in that area which is always a priority. Crews were assisting property owners with asset protection last night in the area.

"A protection plan for the Walls of Jerusalem National Park has been enacted and remote area teams are being pushed into the area.

Communities in areas near bushfires are encouraged to remain alert and proactively seek accurate information from the Tasmania Fire Service.

"We appreciate this is a very worrying time for people affected by bushfires. We want to assure the community that we will continue to provide timely information and we just ask they assist us by continuing to follow the advice of our warnings.

"We understand that with so many warnings changing status regularly, it can lead to complacency, but people need to understand this is an evolving situation and threats can increase quickly so the best thing they can do is trust the authorities.

Community meetings are being arranged for Zeehan, Rosebery, Bothwell, Miena and Maydena tomorrow (Sun-27-Jan-19)

A fire on Fortescue Bay Road yesterday is believed to have started by a discarded cigarette and was quickly attended to by Tasmania Parks and Wildlife.

"This really serves as a reminder that with bushland all over Tasmania incredibly dry, with the weather conditions we are dealing with, all it takes is a poorly thought out decision to have catastrophic consequences.

"The Total Fire Ban is in place this weekend for a reason, and while we there is no ban on lighting cigarettes, anyone who is found to have started a fire by this type of negligence will face consequences," Mr Byatt said.

Advice from Tasmania Fire Service remains as follows:

Heed the total fire ban;
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;
Continue to report unlisted fires to TFS by calling Triple Zero;

For the very latest updates visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.

Today, Saturday 26 January 2019 has been declared a Day of Total Fire Ban for the Whole State of Tasmania

No fires may be lit or allowed to remain alight in the open air from Thursday, 24 January 2019 02:00 AM until Monday, 28 January 2019 02:00 AM

  • Fast Facts Stats:
    52 fires
    99,000 hectares area burnt
    950 kilometre fire edge
    3 property losses
    370 personnel
    32 aircraft
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