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Media Releases

1. Another aspect of the firefight, incident management teams in action Release Date: 2019-02-12
2. State-wide fire update 11 February Release Date: 2019-02-11
3. State-wide fire update 10 February Release Date: 2019-02-10
4. State-wide fire update 9 February Release Date: 2019-02-09
5. Update: Structure fire at Calder Release Date: 2019-02-09
6. State-wide fire update 8 February Release Date: 2019-02-08
7. Donations urged to be directed to Vinnie's Bushfire Appeal Release Date: 2019-02-08
8. Fire destroys house in Calder Release Date: 2019-02-08
9. State-wide update 7 February Release Date: 2019-02-07
10. Overnight fire update 7 February Release Date: 2019-02-07
11. State-wide update 6 February Release Date: 2019-02-06
12. Overnight fire update Release Date: 2019-02-06
13. Tasmanian bushfires update Release Date: 2019-02-05
14. Fireground media opportunity tomorrow - Great Pine Tier Fire Release Date: 2019-02-05
15. 3.00pm bushfires update Release Date: 2019-02-05
16. Huon Valley Community Meeting Tomorrow Release Date: 2019-02-04
17. Bushfires Update Release Date: 2019-02-04
18. **CORRECTION** Bushfire house losses grows to seven not eight Release Date: 2019-02-04
19. Bushfire house losses grow to eight Release Date: 2019-02-04
20. Property Loss & Media Arrangements Today Release Date: 2019-02-04
21. Tasmanian bushfires update - emergency warnings in place Release Date: 2019-02-03
22. Media Arrangements Today Release Date: 2019-02-03
23. Community Meetings Tomorrow - Maydena & Huonville Release Date: 2019-02-02
24. Fire conditions set to worsen tomorrow Release Date: 2019-02-02
25. Media Fireground Access & Briefing Today - Fire Weather Conditions to Worsen Tomorrow Release Date: 2019-02-02
26. Vigilance required despite favourable conditions Release Date: 2019-02-01
27. Total Fire Ban Declared for Sunday 3 February 2019 for all Southern municipalities and Break O'Day, Dorset and Northern Midlands municipalities Release Date: 2019-02-01
28. Great Pine Tier Fire - Backburning Operations Today Release Date: 2019-02-01
29. Media Arrangements Today Release Date: 2019-02-01
30. Bushfire update #2 - Thursday 31 January Release Date: 2019-01-31
31. Volunteer firefighters involved in vehicle rollover Release Date: 2019-01-31
32. Downgrade of some Riveaux Road fire warning levels today Release Date: 2019-01-31
33. Bushfire update - Thursday 31 January Release Date: 2019-01-31
34. TFS bushfire update - 30 January 2019 Release Date: 2019-01-30
35. Homes lost as firefighters prepare for another dangerous day Release Date: 2019-01-29
36. Tahune Airwalk visitors centre saved Release Date: 2019-01-29
37. Bushfire update - Tuesday 29 January Release Date: 2019-01-29
38. Bushfire update - Monday 28 January Release Date: 2019-01-28
39. Tasmanians urged to reamin vigilant to bushfire threat Release Date: 2019-01-27
40. Bushfire Community meetings, Zeehan and Rosebery Release Date: 2019-01-27
41. Bushfire Community Meetings Sunday 27 January Release Date: 2019-01-26
42. Australia Day fire update Release Date: 2019-01-26
43. Fire update Release Date: 2019-01-25
44. Fire Update #1 - Friday 25 Jan Release Date: 2019-01-25
45. ADVICE TO MEDIA: Process for TFS and TasPol media enquiries for Friday 25 January Release Date: 2019-01-25
46. Helicopter Incident Release Date: 2019-01-24
47. People near bushfires advised to leave Release Date: 2019-01-24
48. Alert levels on Central Plateau fire downgraded but further difficult conditions expected Release Date: 2019-01-23
49. Miena Media Briefing Release Date: 2019-01-23
50. **Media Conference 3pm today- Amended** Release Date: 2019-01-23
51. **Media Conference at 3.00pm** Release Date: 2019-01-23
52. One property confirmed destroyed near Miena Release Date: 2019-01-22
53. Fire fight continues Release Date: 2019-01-22
54. Media requested to not visit firegrounds or surrounds Release Date: 2019-01-22
55. **Change of time to Media Briefing - Now 3pm** Release Date: 2019-01-22
56. **State Media Briefing - 3.15pm Today** Release Date: 2019-01-22
57. Increased smoke activity in the north of the State Release Date: 2019-01-20
58. TFS prepares for multiple days of total fire ban this week Release Date: 2019-01-20
59. ***Media Alert - Press Conference*** Release Date: 2019-01-19
60. TFS getting the upper hand on fires Release Date: 2019-01-18
61. STRUCTURE FIRE MOONAH Release Date: 2019-01-18
62. TFS working to contain fires Release Date: 2019-01-17
63. Community Meeting - Miena at 5pm Release Date: 2019-01-17
64. Fire update, Emergency Alert for Lake Fergus and Great Pine Tier Release Date: 2019-01-16
65. Briefing 3.15pm today - Fire situation following significant state-wide lightning Release Date: 2019-01-16
66. Media Release - Lightning events cause dozens of fires Release Date: 2019-01-16
67. Lightning strikes keep fire crews busy Release Date: 2019-01-15
68. Unidentified helicopter disrupts Gell River fire airspace Release Date: 2019-01-15
69. Increasing fire dangers, TFS encourages Tasmanian's to remain vigilant Release Date: 2019-01-15
70. Very high fire dangers over the next few days, update on predicted conditions Release Date: 2019-01-15
71. Gell River Fire - Update Release Date: 2019-01-14
72. Day of Total Fire Ban passes without major incident Release Date: 2019-01-11
73. North East prepares for high fire danger Release Date: 2019-01-11
74. Total Fire Ban in the south on Friday Release Date: 2019-01-10
75. Very High Fire danger for tomorrow and Saturday - Interstate resources called in to assist with Gell River fire Release Date: 2019-01-10
76. Gell River (Southwest) Bushfire - Update Release Date: 2019-01-08
77. Media Interview Opportunity - Gell River (Southwest Fire) Release Date: 2019-01-08
78. Media Release - Gell River (Southwest) Bushfire Release Date: 2019-01-07
79. Gell River (Southwest) Fire - Photos & Video Footage - 6.1.19 Release Date: 2019-01-06
80. Gell River Bushfire Update Sunday 6 January 2019 Release Date: 2019-01-06
81. Media Conference 3.30pm Today - Update on the Gell River (Southwest fire) Release Date: 2019-01-06
82. TFS prepared for day of extreme fire danger Release Date: 2019-01-04
83. Total Fire Ban - Friday 4 January Release Date: 2019-01-03
84. TFS prepares for severe fire danger on Friday Release Date: 2019-01-02
85. Conleys Point, South Bruny Island Bushfire - Contained Release Date: 2018-12-26
86. Conleys Point, South Bruny Island Bushfire Update Release Date: 2018-12-25
87. Media Briefing - TFS Cambridge Complex - South Bruny Fires Release Date: 2018-12-25
88. Conleys Point, South Bruny Bushfire Update Release Date: 2018-12-25
89. Fire Permit Period Declared Statewide from the 15 December 2018 at 2am Release Date: 2018-12-21
90. TFS launches new recruitment campaign Release Date: 2018-12-20
91. Middleton's new fire station officially opens Release Date: 2018-12-14
92. Fire permits required state wide Release Date: 2018-12-13
93. Tasmanian firefighters return from Queensland Release Date: 2018-12-04
94. Boat fire investigation complete Release Date: 2018-11-30
95. Tasmanians to assist the Queensland bushfire effort Release Date: 2018-11-29
96. Mother and Son narrowly escape house fire in Turners Beach Release Date: 2018-11-16
97. Laundry business in Glenorchy damaged by fire. Release Date: 2018-11-15
98. Fire Permit embargo for the Southern Region Release Date: 2018-11-12
99. State Firefighter Championships Release Date: 2018-11-09
100. Structure Fire Ranelagh Release Date: 2018-11-03
101. Winds to persist, Very High Fire Danger to continue in some areas on Saturday Release Date: 2018-11-02
102. Bushfire-prone communities join Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods Program Release Date: 2018-11-02
103. Home in Elizabeth Town Destroyed by Fire Release Date: 2018-11-02
104. Increasing fire danger, with winds to increase Release Date: 2018-11-02
105. TFS attending house fire Avenue Road, Elizabeth Town Release Date: 2018-11-02
106. Very High Fire Danger forecast prompts fire permit embargo Release Date: 2018-11-01
107. Four bedroom house in Beulah destroyed by fire Release Date: 2018-10-30
108. Fuel reduction program burn protects tourist accommodation Release Date: 2018-10-30
109. Firefighting efforts continue at Gowrie Park bushfire Release Date: 2018-10-28
110. Vegetation Fire at Mount Roland Reserve - Gowrie Park Release Date: 2018-10-28
111. House destroyed by fire in Fentonbury in the Derwent Valley Release Date: 2018-10-24
112. Cause of Devonport unit fire under investigation Release Date: 2018-10-24
113. Fire permit period declared - southern region and parts of north and north west Release Date: 2018-10-23
114. House Fire New Norfolk Release Date: 2018-10-15
115. Man Rescued from Sandy Bay Release Date: 2018-10-12
116. TFS prepares for bushfire season with major state exercise this Sunday Release Date: 2018-10-10
117. TFS National Medal presentation Release Date: 2018-10-10
118. Antarctic expeditioners trained to provide emergency response Release Date: 2018-10-03
119. House fire, Premaydena Release Date: 2018-09-25
120. House destroyed by fire in Whitemore Release Date: 2018-09-24
121. Fire damages home in Lauderdale Release Date: 2018-09-21
122. Fire destroys home in Montumana Release Date: 2018-09-21
123. Montello house fire Release Date: 2018-09-10
124. Portable Gas Cooker Cause of Fire Release Date: 2018-09-08
125. Structure Fire - Vermont Court, Berridale Release Date: 2018-09-07
126. Fire at City Automotive, Mornington Release Date: 2018-09-06
127. Converted bus destroyed in overnight fire Release Date: 2018-08-30
128. Smoke causes evacuation of Coles supermarket Devonport Release Date: 2018-08-30
129. Fridge fire at a Devonport supermarket Release Date: 2018-08-30
130. Appointment of TFS Deputy Chief Officer Release Date: 2018-08-21
131. Quick action by staff help save a Claremont shop Release Date: 2018-08-21
132. Fire severely damages the Colebrook shop Release Date: 2018-08-08
133. Pilgrim Coffee fire deemed accidental Release Date: 2018-08-07
134. STRUCTURE FIRE - Pilgrim Coffee, Argyle Street Hobart Release Date: 2018-08-07
135. House fire overnight - Carnegie Street Claremont Release Date: 2018-07-12
136. Tasmanias firefighters recommending a smoke alarm in every bedroom Release Date: 2018-07-04


Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Another aspect of the firefight, incident management teams in action

Date: 12 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

While firefighters continue to battle fires across the state, they are being supported by Incident Management Teams (IMT) set up at Burnie, Youngtown and Cambridge. The IMT is a group of incident management personnel who provide strategic and tactical direction, plus support to firefighters on the ground. There are four key functional areas within the IMT: planning, operations, logistics and public information. This includes ensuring firefighters are appropriately accommodated at night, are supplied meals throughout the day, and have the necessary equipment to achieve their objectives.

As an incident scales up or down, so does the size of the IMT. These IMT's are currently resourced by not only different agencies within Tasmania, but also from other Australian states and territories, and New Zealand.

The southern IMT at Cambridge currently comprises of people from:

Department of Fire and Emergency Service - Western Australia
Department of Justice (Tasmania)
Department of Premier and Cabinet (Tasmania)
Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (Tasmania)
Fire and Emergency New Zealand
Land Tasmania
New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service
New South Wales Ambulance
New South Wales Fire and Rescue
New South Wales Rural Fire Service
Parks and Wildlife Service (Tasmania)
Parks and Wildlife Service (Western Australia)
Private Contractors
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service
Sustainable Timber Tasmania
Tasmania Fire Service
Tasmania Health Service
Tasmania Police
Tasmania State Emergency Service
University of Tasmania

The interstate and international assistance we continue to receive enables our Tasmanian people to have a much needed break, recoup, and return to assist the firefighters on the ground.

Photo: IMT based at Cambridge, 11 February 2019.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

State-wide fire update 11 February

Date: 11 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Fire crews have continued to make steady progress in consolidating containment lines around fires across Tasmania today. Access to some of the firegrounds today has been challenging with low level cloud, particuarly in the central plateau and the south west.

Tasmania currently has 28 fires state-wide, with 18 of these fires classified as going.

Moving into Tuesday a strong cold front is expected to continue to make firefighting difficult in some areas, in terms of slippery ground, access issues and dangerous trees. In particular gusty winds and low cloud are forecast in some areas. A strong west to south west air flow is forecast for the remainder of this week.

Some stats on where we are at:

  • 205, 388 hectares has been burnt to date
  • Including 1, 793 kilometers of fire edge
  • 486 personnel working on the fires today (175 interstate/NZ)
  • 24 aircraft working on the fires today

There is still a lot of work to be done, with hundreds of hot spots that have been identified for work by remote and tanker based crews over coming days and weeks. With 7 Advice messages in place, the community needs to continue to be vigilant and monitor the situation.

A warming cycle of weather is a possibility for the last week of February. With this in mind firefighters will continue to hit these fires hard with a focus on prioritising hot spots that have potential to break out under warmer conditions.

Information and services to assist with recovery can be found at:

www.alert.tas.gov.au/recovery/

recovery@dpac.tas.gov.au

1800 567 567

For information and advice related to the bushfires visit www.fire.tas.gov.au and for road closures visit www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

State-wide fire update 10 February

Date: 10 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Email: stateops.media@fire.tas.gov.au

The long and arduous work of extinguishing fire edges state wide continued today.

Remote area and tanker based crews worked tirelessly searching out and extinguishing hotspots wherever they pose a risk. The weather continues to pose challenges to air operations.

While these favourable conditions are assisting TFS greatly they are also helping to disguise and hide some hotspots. This means that some of these hotspots will be difficult to locate and remain hidden. This may pose a risk under stronger winds and warmer conditions.

TFS advise people not to let their guard down yet. If you live near one of these fires continue to monitor conditions as the weather improves.

With a number of roads now reopened TFS urges drivers to take care and drive to the conditions. Many tourists and locals may like to see the effects the fire has had on our landscape.

TFS would like those people to remember that fire crews are still active along many of these roads, so be aware of where you stop, be aware of your surroundings and be on the lookout for fire vehicles.

Information and services to assist with recovery can be found at:

Website: www.alert.tas.gov.au/recovery/

Email: recovery@dpac.tas.gov.au

Phone: 1800 567 567

For information and advice related to the bushfires visit www.fire.tas.gov.au and for road closures visit www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

State-wide fire update 9 February

Date: 9 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Email: stateops.media@fire.tas.gov.au

Yet another day of favourable weather conditions has allowed fire crews to make significant inroads on containing fires across the state.

This period has also allowed TFS along with Tasmania Police and other stakeholder agencies to assess and open many roads in the fire affected areas.

Low cloud again hampered efforts to use aircraft at the Brittons Swamp, Gell River, Great Pine Tier and Riveaux Road fires however remote area firefighters and tanker based crews continued to make headway on accessing fire edges to black out and tackle hotspots.

Plans for back burning at the Riveaux Road fire were again delayed today due to the wet weather.

Forecast rain over the coming days will continue to ease the fire risk across the state and is allowing TFS Incident Controllers to reassess their resources to put them to best use. It has also allowed many crews an opportunity to gain some well-earned rest.

This rest is important as it will freshen crews up so they can continue the long and arduous task of blacking out the critical edges of these fires which to date have burnt over 205,000 hectares of the state and created a combined fire perimeter of over 1700km.

While not all of this perimeter is active many sections still pose a risk despite the welcome rain. TFS continues to prioritise these areas and will be assessing them with specialist aerial thermal imaging equipment as the weather allows.

This assessment will pin point hotspots with great accuracy allowing fire crews to work as efficiently as possible.

TFS is aware that as things slowly begin to return to normal in many communities thoughts are turning to recovery. Information and services to assist with this can be found at:

Website: www.alert.tas.gov.au/recovery/

Email: recovery@dpac.tas.gov.au

Phone: 1800 567 567

For information and advice related to the bushfires visit www.fire.tas.gov.au and for road closures visit www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/



Tasmania Fire Service

Update: Structure fire at Calder

Date: 9 Feb 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Email: stateops.media@fire.tas.gov.au

The cause of a fire that destroyed a home in Calder Road, Calder could not be determined.

Crews attended the fire at around 2.30am yesterday to find the home completely engulfed.

Due to the total destruction of the property the fire investigation was unable to provide a definitive cause.

Damage was estimated at $500,000.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

State-wide fire update 8 February

Date: 8 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Email: stateops.media@fire.tas.gov.au

Fire crews have continued to take advantage of the favourable weather today to make headway on a number of fires burning across the state.

The reduction in low cloud enabled remote area fighters to be put in place on parts of the Gell River fire to black out fire edges and hotspots. Remote area teams were also active on the northern parts of the Great Pine Tier fire

Tanker based crews were able to access the Clear Hill Road area of the Gell River fire to attack the fire edge. At the Riveaux Road fire some back burning was successfully undertaken to the northern edge of the fire in the Denison and Barnback Roads area. However due to the rain making some parts of this area to wet to burn additional back burning will be undertaken tomorrow if the conditions allow.

Work also continued today to build containment lines on the south west and south east edges of the Brittons Swamp fire ahead of forecast stronger winds.

Crews were also able to assist stakeholder agencies in assessing roads so they can be reopened over the coming days. Dangerous trees assessments in Arve Road have already identified 50 tress of concern and that work will continue for that road and others as conditions allow.

TFS would like to remind Tasmanians that while the present risk has eased, vigilance is still needed. Forecast fresh and gusty winds from the northwest tending westerly over the coming days may place pressure on the eastern containment lines of all fires.

People should monitor the conditions and stay up to date at www.fire.tas.gov.au

For the most up to date information on road closures visit: www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/



Tasmania Fire Service

Donations urged to be directed to Vinnie's Bushfire Appeal

Date: 8 Feb 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Media and Communications Phone: (03) 6173 2973

A number of generous members of the public are wanting to donate goods, including alcohol, to the Tasmania Fire Service and its volunteer members in the wake of the 2019 bushfires.

The best way to help people affected, including saying thank you to our hardworking fire fighters and support staff, is by donating money to the Vinnies Tasmania 2019 Bushfire Appeal.

"We appreciate the public goodwill and people offering help and donations of goods but we ask that people continue to cooperate with emergency services by allowing Government agencies to provide any support or assistance required," Deputy Chief Bruce Byatt said.

"Tasmania Fire Service is well resourced and given the extent and impact of these fires on the Tasmanian community, we would strongly encourage people to send the donations of money and goods/services to those people who really need it.

"A number of community 'thank you' events are also being planned to acknowledge everyone's efforts, including fire fighters and support staff.

"By donating directly to the bushfire appeal and helping those who need it most means more to us than anything else."



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire destroys house in Calder

Date: 8 Feb 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Email: stateops.media@fire.tas.gov.au

A fire overnight has completely destroyed a home in Calder Road, Calder.

Crews from Burnie, Wynyard, Somerset and Boat Harbour were called to the fire just before 2.30am this morning.

On arrival they found a large home completely engulfed in flames. Fire crews stopped the fire from spreading to surrounding vegetation but the home was unable to be saved.

No one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries reported.

The cause of the fire will be investigated today.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

State-wide update 7 February

Date: 7 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Email: stateops.media@fire.tas.gov.au

Rain last night and into today has eased the risk from fires burning across the state.

Up to 30mm of rain fell on fires including those at Great Pine Tier, Riveaux Road, Gell River and Brittons Swamp.

A number of the other fires burning across the southwest wilderness area also received significant rain.

At the Riveaux Road fire the rain allowed some crews to be released to undertake impact assessments and assess fire affected roads for dangerous trees and other hazards. Where appropriate unsafe trees were felled and roads cleared. Other fire crews maintained patrolling and reported that fire activity was reasonably low.

At Clear Hill Road on the south west edge of the Gell River fire, tanker based crews were able to and black out and extinguish hotspots in areas where the fire broke containment lines. Machinery will be bought in to assist with these efforts.

At the Great Pine Tier fire remote area firefighters walked prioritised sections of the northern edges of the fire from Great Lake to Lake Augusta identifying and extinguishing hot spots.

The southern edge near Hermitage was also assessed with thermal imaging cameras to find hot spots that crew's then extinguished. Progress on completely containing this edge of the fire has been very good.

At Brittons Swamp the southeast and southwest boundary of the fire remains uncontained. Remote area firefighters and machinery will be bought in tomorrow to begin containing these edges.

Further south fires at Lynch Hill, Western Hills and Renison Mine have been downgraded from Advice level to no alert level.

While today's rain has eased the risk to communities, TFS urges Tasmanians not to become complacent. There is still many more days and weeks ahead for fire crews who will patrol fire edges blacking out and extinguishing hotspots. This important work will need to be done to ensure these fires are completely contained.

TFS continues to receive many kind offers of help from community members following the recent bushfires.

TFS would like to assure everyone that our personnel are all looked after while on active duty and we're self-sufficient. For us "thanks" is enough.

TFS understands though that people might like to help - if you'd like to help people affected by the bushfires, the best thing you can do is donate money to the Vinnies Tasmania 2019 Bushfire Appeal.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Overnight fire update 7 February

Date: 7 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Email: stateops.media@fire.tas.gov.au

Rainfall overnight has eased the fire risk to a number of Tasmanian communities.

Reports from the Great Pine Tier, Riveaux Road, Gell River and Brittons Swamp fires indicate rain has fallen on all these fires.

Extensive rain bands also appear to have passed over areas of the south west affected by fire.

Further rain forecast for today is expected to assist fire crews to black out hotspots and extinguish fire edges along many containment lines.

TFS and partner agencies will spend today reassessing the risk posed by the fires, however it may take some days before the full impact of this rain event can be assessed properly.

Low cloud may make flying difficult in some areas and the rain may make some fire containment lines unsafe or hard to access by vehicle or on foot.

TFS advises people who are planning on returning to their property to take steps to assure the safety of themselves and their families.

Trees on your property impacted by fire may be unsafe and water tanks may have been contaminated by ash, dead animals or firefighting foams and retardants. For detailed information on this visit the TasALERT website:

www.TasALERT.com click on the Recovery link and then 'Bushfires 2019' for a series of fact sheets to advise on steps you can take once you return home.

To check if the road is open for you to return visit:

www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

State-wide update 6 February

Date: 6 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Email: stateops.media@fire.tas.gov.au

TFS and partner agencies continued to make some gains in strengthening and consolidating containment lines at fires across the state today.

At the Great Pine Tier Fire a fire retardant line was successfully laid to bolster a 6 km handline that was put last week. The retardant line was laid to support efforts to keep the fire spreading into the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.

Further back burning efforts were undertaken or are planned for areas around Lake Augusta in the north and Sukes Tier to the south at Lake Echo.

Crews were also active in blacking out hotspots in the area of Bashan Plains.

In the south at Riveaux Road Fire crews today consolidated containment lines around the fire from Judbury to Geeveston. Where safe to do so crews took the opportunity to tie in the fire edge with localised back burning in places from Glendevie to Geeveston.

Unfortunately the prevailing winds today pushed the western edge of the fire towards the Arthur Ranges. The spread of the fire in this area will be monitored where possible over the coming days.

At Gell River the fire did not put pressure on the current contained edges.

In the north west the Lynch Hill and Western Hill fires remained within containment lines.

The fire at Brittan Swamp continued to grow fanned by strong westerly winds and pushed towards Waratah Plain. Crews, with air support, continued to patrol and attack the fire where safe.

A number of alert messages have been downgraded to advice level today for communities near the Great Pine Tier, Riveaux Road and Gell River fires.

TFS advises people who are planning on returning to their property to take steps to minimize risk to themselves and their families.

Trees on your property impacted by fire may be unsafe and water tanks may have been contaminated by ash, dead animals or firefighting foams and retardants. For detailed information on these risks and other steps you can take on returning home refer to:

TasALERT website: http://alert.tas.gov.au/recovery/Pages/Bushfires2019.aspx

To check if the road is open for you to return visit: www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts.

For those areas that remain at Watch and Act level, your safest option is to continue to stay away.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Overnight fire update

Date: 6 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Email: stateops.media@fire.tas.gov.au

Weather conditions again remained largely favourable overnight with little fire activity reported by crews state-wide.

At the Riveaux Road fire crews patrolled the fire from Lonnavale to Geeveston. A couple of hotspots, in inaccessible areas near Glen Huon, were identified and will be water bombed today.

Reports from the Gell River fire indicate it remained quiet.

At the Great Pine Tier Fire back burning operations conducted late yesterday afternoon appear successful. The back burning focussed on protecting property around Brandum, Liawenee and Reynolds Neck.

A sprinkler line has been put in place to protect the Thousand Lakes Lodge at Bernacchi and back burning was also used.

At the Britons Swamp Fire back burning was undertaken late yesterday. Patrolling crews reported good conditions over night and worked on containing edges.

With the continued forecast favourable weather conditions TFS and partner agencies will work on strengthening containment lines throughout today and into tomorrow.

All though the fire weather conditions are favourable TFS urges Tasmanians not to become complacent. These fires will continue to remain a risk to communities for some time yet.

People living in these areas should continue to monitor the situation and stay up to date by looking at the TFS website and by listening to ABC local radio.

TFS advises:

Have a plan for what you will do if the fire approaches.

If your property is not well prepared and actively defended leaving early is your safest option.

Visit www.fire.tas.gov.au for bush fire and fire safety information.

Listen to ABC local radio for updates on bushfire alerts.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Tasmanian bushfires update

Date: 5 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: State Public Information (StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmanian bushfires update

Fire agencies are using favourable weather conditions to continue strengthening containment lines for fires burning across the state.
A total of 24 fires are currently actively burning, with a total burnt area of 195,000 hectares to date.
At the time of release, there are 10 Watch and Act warnings in relation to two fires, and 20 Advice warnings in relation to several fires.
Fire activity increased last night in the Central Highlands, when the Great Pine Tier fire threatened the area of Brandum. An Emergency Warning was enacted and the fire reached within 200 metres of properties. Residents around Brandum and Reynolds Neck were asked to leave and crews successfully protected properties that were under direct threat.
There was an outbreak on the northern boundary of the Riveaux Road fire yesterday near Lonnavale. This fire remains very active and unpredictable.
A new fire started at Strathblane overnight. Crews are working to contain the 6.5 hectare fire believed to have been started when a tree fell onto powerlines.
Aircraft operations have been difficult today due to low cloud cover across most of the state.
Detailed impact assessments are underway state-wide and further details of property loss will only be provided once these assessments are completed.
More than 700 personnel have been working on the fires today, including 182 personnel from interstate and New Zealand.
While some rain is forecast this week, people are reminded to remain vigilant and closely monitor the TFS website and ABC local radio as the situation may change rapidly.

TFS advises:
If you don't need to be in the areas under an Emergency Warning or Watch and Act, then stay away.
If you're staying to defend your property, monitor the conditions closely and stay alert as conditions can change quickly.
Stay up to date at www.fire.tas.gov.au or by listening to ABC local radio.
Visit the www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/ for road closures.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Fireground media opportunity tomorrow - Great Pine Tier Fire

Date: 5 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: State Public Information Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service will facilitate a media opportunity tomorrow at Miena.

Time: 11:00am

Meeting point: Miena Community Centre - Staging Area, 55-57 Cider Gum Road, Miena

At this stage an interview will be provided by the Deputy Operations Officer Chris Emms.

Media Liaison Officer David Cleaver will be on site for coordination purposes. Please meet David at 11.00am at the Staging Area.

Media will be escorted to the fire ground by David Cleaver and a Safety Officer for footage purposes.

Media are reminded that this is subject to change due to operational priorties and maybe cancelled at late notice. Media are also reminded to provide their media accreditation and attend in full personal protective clothing.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

3.00pm bushfires update

Date: 5 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Contact details for media today are: StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au or 62308420

There will be a media briefing at Tasmania Fire Service State Headquaters at 3.00pm today.

The media briefing will include updates from the Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.

In terms of detailed information of damage that has occured to date it is very difficult to get definitive information of what has been damaged or destroyed at this point given the current fire conditions and safe access into areas. Impact assessments are being conducted as soon as safely possible. Information will be provided once it becomes available.

At this stage there is NO fireground media access today. We remind the media to please respect this instruction and to direct all media enquiries to the contact details above.

Please meet Peter Middleton at the stairwell at the entrance to the TFS carpark off Melville Street at 2.50pm.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Huon Valley Community Meeting Tomorrow

Date: 4 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A community meeting is scheduled for 7.00pm tomorrow night (5 February) at the Huonville Town Hall (40 Main Street, Huonville) regarding an update on the Riveuax Road bushfire burning in the Huon Valley.

People across the Huon Valley are encouraged to attend to get the latest information.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Bushfires Update

Date: 4 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Four main fires across the state remain a concern, with fire agencies continuing to strengthen fire containment lines to protect communities, infrastructure and the environment.

A total of 19 fires are currently actively burning, with a total burnt area of 194,000 hectares to date.

At the time of release, there are 14 Watch and Act and 19 Advice in relation to 8 fires - however people are reminded that this situation could change at any moment.

The four main fires of concern are:

  • Brittons Link, Britons Swamp
  • Great Pine Tier, Central Plateau
  • Gell River, Southwest
  • Riveaux Road, Southwest

The Great Pine Tier Fire broke out yesterday and took a significant run of 8kms to the north of Liawenee, across to Reynolds Neck, where properties were defended by firefighters and the community.

The Brittons Swamp fire in North West Tasmania has posed some challenges today with gusty winds from the south. Communities to the north need to be mindful of potential spotting from this fire. This includes areas south of Scotchtown, Christmas Hills and Brittons Swamp.

Crews are also continuing to strengthen containment lines on the Gell River and Riveaux Road fires today.

Detailed impact assessments are underway state-wide, although assessments have been hampered by smoke and dangerous trees.

TFS can confirm four houses have been destroyed in the Riveaux Road fire, although further assessments are continuing in the area.

More than 755 personnel have been working on the fires today, including 159 personnel from interstate and New Zealand.

While weather conditions are forecast to moderate moving into the week ahead, people are reminded to remain vigilant and closely monitor the TFS website and ABC local radio as the situation may change rapidly.

TFS advises:

  • If you don't need to be in the areas under an Emergency Warning or Watch and Act, then stay away.
  • If you're staying to defend your property, monitor the conditions closely and stay alert as conditions can change quickly.
  • Stay up to date at www.fire.tas.gov.au or by listening to ABC local radio.
  • Visit the www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/ for road closures.


Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

**CORRECTION** Bushfire house losses grows to seven not eight

Date: 4 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service can confirm that sadly the number of houses destroyed has grown overnight.

One additional house was destroyed at the Riveaux Road fire yesterday in the Huon Valley.

House loss details to date include:

  • Four houses at the Riveaux Road fire in the Huon Valley.
  • Three houses at the Great Pine Tier fire in the Central Plateau.

There has also been some houses that have received some moderate damage.

Further information will be provided as it comes to hand through our impact assessment teams.

A reminder to all media that there is NO fireground access today.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Bushfire house losses grow to eight

Date: 4 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service can confirm that sadly the number of house losses has grown overnight.

An additional two houses were lost at the Riveaux Road fire yesterday in the Huon Valley.

House loss details to date include:

  • Five houses at the Riveaux Road fire in the Huon Valley.
  • Three houses at the Great Pine Tier fire in the Central Plateau.

A reminder to all media that there is NO fireground access today.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Property Loss & Media Arrangements Today

Date: 4 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There are unconfirmed reports of property loss from the Riveaux Road fire and Great Pine Tier fire yesterday. It is very difficult to get definitive information of what has been damaged or destroyed at this point in time.

Impact assessments will be conducted as soon as safely possible - this could take some time. Further information will be provided when available.

Contact details for media today are: StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au or 62308420

There will be a media briefing at Tasmania Fire Service State Headquaters at 3.00pm today.

There is no TFS coordinated in field media opportunities today.

Please meet Peter Middleton at the stairwell at the entrance to the TFS carpark off Melville Street at 2.50pm.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Tasmanian bushfires update - emergency warnings in place

Date: 3 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: State Public Information Phone: (03) 6230 8424

As predicted, the warm, dry air forecast has kept fire agencies busy today, several bushfires have broken containment lines and put communities at risk. The cold front has taken longer to move across the state than expected, which will keep the fire danger elevated well into the night in the north east of the state.

21 fires are currently actively burning, with a total burnt area of 191,000 hectares to date.

At the time of release, five emergency warnings are in place for communities in the Huon Valley, Central Highlands and North West.

Crews working on the Great Pine Tier, Riveuax Road and Brittons Swamp fires are working to protect properties and warn the public of imminent danger in the warning areas. The Riveaux Road fire has broken out into the Waterloo area. The fire at Brittons Swamp is burning in paddocks and farmland, resulting in a fast moving grass fire that is difficult to control. Smoke is likely to impact areas between Devonport and Smithton.

The Gell River, southwest fire near Maydena is very active in the South-East corner today.

It is unlikely the full extent of fire impact on the warning areas will be known today, with property loss highly likely, particularly in townships south of Geeveston in the Waterloo area. Impact assessments will start once it is safe.

Impact assessments have commenced in areas affected by the Great Pine Tier fire to provide TFS and the community an idea of damage caused by the fires so far.

Several new fires started today, with one starting from an unattended campfire at Dora Point, Binalong Bay. TFS reminds people to ensure their campfires are completely extinguished by soaking, stirring and soaking them again before they are left unattended. Fires in the open are prohibited on days of total fire ban. The total fire ban remains in place until 2.00am Monday morning in Southern Tasmania, Break O' Day, Dorset and Northern Midlands municipalities.

Moving into the week ahead, weather conditions are forecast to moderate, once again allowing fire crews to focus on strengthening containment lines.

TFS advises:

If you do not need to be in the areas under an Emergency Warning or Watch and Act, then stay away.

If you are staying to defend your property, monitor the conditions closely and stay alert as conditions can change quickly.

Stay up to date at www.fire.tas.gov.au or by listening to ABC local radio.

Visit the www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/ for road closures.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Media Arrangements Today

Date: 3 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Contact details for media today are: StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au or 62308420

There will be a media briefing at Tasmania Fire Service State Headquaters at 3.00pm today.

The media briefing will include updates from the Bureau of Meterology, Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.

There is no TFS coordinated in field media opportunities today.

A Total Fire Ban is in place until 2am Monday 4 February.

Please meet Peter Middleton at the stairwell at the entrance to the TFS carpark off Melville Street at 2.50pm.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Community Meetings Tomorrow - Maydena & Huonville

Date: 2 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The Tasmania Fire Service and the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service will be holding community bushfire information meetings in Maydena and Huonville tomorrow.

  • Maydena - 12.30pm at the Maydena Hall (old primary school music room), Kallista Road.
  • Huonville - 12.30pm & 7pm at the Huonville Primary School, 74 Wilmot Road.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Fire conditions set to worsen tomorrow

Date: 2 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Fire conditions are forecast to worsen tomorrow with a Total Fire Ban taking effect in Southern Tasmania, Break O'Day, Dorset and Northern Midlands municipalities from 2am Sunday 3 February to 2am Monday 4 February. Very High Fire Danger, with pockets of Severe Fire Danger in the Fingal Valley, are forecast across many areas of the state.

Chief Officer, Chris Arnol said "we still have fires coming into the urban interface that are threatening our communities in the Huon Valley, Central Plateau and West Coast".

189 000 hectares of burnt area has occurred to date, including, 1600 kilometres of fire edge. There is currently 41 fires in the state with 25 of these fires classified as going.

The Riveaux Road fire in the Huon Valley still has approximately 50% of active fire edge. The Great Pine Tier fire in the Central Plateau has approximately 40% of active fire edge. There is also concern for a fire at Brittons Link, Britons Swamp in North West Tasmania, a fire at Trenah, near Ringarooma and a fire has recently started at the Renison Mine, Renison Bell (currently on a Watch and Act alert).

Mr Arnol said "we are not out of the woods yet and tomorrow's weather will put pressure on communities, our people and resources". "With tomorrow's forecast fire conditions our message is clear, leaving early is the safest option".

On days of Very High Fire Danger only stay in your home if it is well prepared and you can actively defend it. Spot fires may occur several kilometres ahead of a fire. People can expect embers to spread ahead of the fire.

Weather conditions over the last few days have greatly assisted firefighters in continuing building containment lines.

599 personnel are working on the fires today, including 148 personal from Interstate and New Zealand, 39 aircraft are also included in today's firefighting operations. Interstate and New Zealand support will continue while the bushfire threat remains which also allows personnel to rest.

There will be more challenging days ahead with February historically being our worst month for fire weather.

We need the community to keep checking the TFS website and listening to ABC Local Radio.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Media Fireground Access & Briefing Today - Fire Weather Conditions to Worsen Tomorrow

Date: 2 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Media opportunities today include:

  • Senior Station Officer Phil Douglas will provide an escort from Huonville Fire Station directly after the 12.30pm community meeting. This will include an escort as close to the fireground as possible, where safe to do so.
  • State-wide media briefing at TFS State Headquaters at 3.00pm today regarding tomorrows forcast fire weather conditions and the Total Fire Ban. Please meet State Public Information Officer, Peter Middleton at TFS Reception, corner Melville and Argyle Street at 2.50pm.

Updates overnight

Regarding the Riveaux Road fire, of note overnight TFS received a small number of triple zero calls to areas of fire spread mostly concerning the area above Castle Forbes Bay and Sunny Hills Road.

Regarding the Great Pine Tier fire in the Central Plateau, due to predicted fire weather conditions tomorrow, crews continued to strengthen containment lines overnight as well as complete two back burns.

Cooler temperatures and minimal wind have assisted crews state-wide with patrolling all areas of concern. There is still fire activity in some areas and crews will continue to work on containment lines today.

Please note TFS reserves the right to cancel the media escort at very late notice if conditions do not allow access. This opportunity is limited to bushfire accredited media personnel with full personal protective clothing and identification only - no exceptions.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Vigilance required despite favourable conditions

Date: 1 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The Tasmania Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania has reminded the community to remain vigilant despite favourable weather conditions assisting firefighters battling bushfires across the state over the last few days.

State Fire Controller Jeff Harper said emergency warnings for the fires had been downgraded but hot and windy conditions predicted for the weekend could require these to be escalated again.

"There is still a significant amount of fire in the landscape drawing on resources around the state," he said.

"A number of fires are still volatile and dangerous and fire behaviour can change with little warning."

A Total Fire Ban has been declared for most of the Southern Region, Break O'day, Dorset and Northern Midlands municipalities starting at 2am on Sunday and concluding at 2am on Monday. Mr Harper said there were challenging days still ahead for the 599 personnel fighting the fires.

"February is a historically a difficult time for fires and we will be in this space for a number of weeks to come," he said.

Fuel loads around the state are 20-30 per cent drier than average and the fire edge has grown to 1629km, with the burnt area at 187,462ha.

Mr Harper confirmed that three firefighters had been injured. A Sustainable Timbers Tasmania contracted firefighter has been taken to hospital for assessment after being injured by a tree limb on the Riveaux Road fire today.

One volunteer is being assessed for possible spinal damage after a vehicle rollover yesterday while another has been released from hospital following an incident near Huonville.

Senior Station Officer John Holloway said that the cooler conditions had allowed successful back burning to take place in some areas of the Central Highlands today.

Heavy machinery has been used to prepare for back burns in the Huon Valley and firefighters have successfully carried out direct suppression activities today.

On the West Coast, recent rainfall has helped the firefighting efforts and crews on the ground have been able to install pumps on the Pieman River using barges to help pump water onto the fire ground.

The fires in the landscape will continue to pose a threat for some time, particularly with no significant rainfall on the horizon.



Tasmania Fire Service


Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Great Pine Tier Fire - Backburning Operations Today

Date: 1 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

In relation to the Great Pine Tier fire in the Central Plateau, Tasmania Fire Service, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and our partner agencies intend to conduct two backburns today, subject to favourable fire weather conditions. It is likely that a 200 hectare burn east of Bronte Park and a 25 hectare burn east of Highland Lakes Road, south of Steppes will be conducted today to allow crews on the ground to consolidate containment lines.

These backburns are planned, considered and appropriately resourced. Introducing fire into the landscape when appropriately planned and resourced, coupled with appropriate weather conditions will help reduce the risk to life, property and the environment.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Media Arrangements Today

Date: 1 Feb 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Contact details for media today are: StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au or 62308420

Please use the information provided on the TFS website and media releases. Only contact us if absoloutley necessary.

There will be a media briefing at Tasmania Fire Service State Headquaters at 3.00pm today.

The State Fire Controller, Jeff Harper, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and other stakeholders will be available to talk with the media regarding the current situation and the predicted fire weather for the weekend.

Please meet State Public Information Officer, Peter Middleton at Tasmania Fire Service Reception, corner Melville and Argyle Street at 2.50pm.

There is NO in field media opportunities arranged for today, we are looking into opportunities for Saturday and will advise accordingly.

We caution the community with increasing fire weather conditions over the coming days. A Total Fire Ban is being considered for Sunday. Review of the warnings in place is taking place reguarly.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Bushfire update #2 - Thursday 31 January

Date: 31 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: State Public Information (StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A southwesterly wind change and more moderate fire weather conditions have eased the threat to a number of Tasmanian communities for now.
The front which moved across the state in the early hours of this morning has allowed fire crews to shore up containment lines and actively attack fire edges today on the Riveaux Road and Great Pine Tier fires.

In the Huon Valley, conditions allowed TFS crews to reassess the risk posed to a number of communities. This led to a reduction in the number of Emergency Warnings in place. Property and infrastructure impact assessments were also undertaken where access could be gained.

At Murdunna the fire was contained by fire crews and machinery and is not currently of concern.

South of Waddamana, conditions on the Great Pine Tier fire allowed firefighters to shore up containment lines at Lake Echo and also allowed inspection and additional risk assessments of power transmission lines.

At the Gell River Fire remote area teams worked to contain the fire to the south of the Mount Field National between the Lake Gordon and Florentine Roads. However, the fire has entered the south west end of the park. Preparations are underway to protect identified environmental and heritage values.

In Zeehan and Rosebery 26 remote area firefighters supported by machinery worked to strengthen containments lines and extinguish hotspots at the Lynch Hill and Western Hill fires.

At Lynch Hill the fire crossed a containment line on the Huskisson River, plans are in place to insert remote area firefighters to tackle the fire tomorrow.

The fire at Brittons Swamp continued to grow today pushed by strong winds. Fire crews supported by aircraft worked to slow the fires spread.

Two new fires were reported today at Wombat Peak just to the south west of Lake Pedder and at Bridport. The Wombat Peak fire was detected by at a spotter flight and was caused by lighting. It will be assessed further tomorrow. The fire at Bridport was quickly contained and the cause is being investigated.

TFS would like to advise that despite the easing conditions and downgrading of some alerts these fire remain a risk to nearby communities.

Fires are very unpredictable and even a small change in the weather conditions can cause a fire to quickly spread or change direction.

If you do not need to be in the areas under an Emergency Warning or Watch and Act then stay away.

If you return to your home you need to monitor the conditions closely and stay alert.

Conditions can change quickly.

TFS advise you to:
Stay up to date at www.fire.tas.gov.au or by listening to ABC local radio.
Visit the www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/ for road closures.



Tasmania Fire Service

Volunteer firefighters involved in vehicle rollover

Date: 31 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media and Comms (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service can confirm two volunteer firefighters have been injured following a rollover on private property on Kermandie River Road at Geeveston. The firefighters were participating in firefighting activities on private property this afternoon when the four-wheel drive light tanker they were traveling in rolled over.

Both volunteers are members of the New Norfolk Volunteer Fire Brigade. One member, a man in his early 30s, has been transported to the Royal Hobart Hospital by the Westpac Rescue Helicopter with non-life threatening injuries. The other member, a woman in her late 20s has sustained minor injuries and has also been transported to the Royal Hobart Hospital.

Tasmania Fire Service has been in contact with the family of the members involved and will provide every support available to them. Support will also be provided to TFS personnel affected by the incident.

Worksafe Tasmania has been notified.



Tasmania Fire Service

Downgrade of some Riveaux Road fire warning levels today

Date: 31 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media and Comms (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Due to easing fire weather conditions in some areas of the Riveaux Road bushfire, some issued emergency warnings have been downgraded.

The details and rationale for the downgrade for each area is provided below and Tasmania Police will provide further information about road closure arrangements.

This information is current at 1pm on 31 January 2019, and the warning levels could change at any time as the threat level changes.

In summary:

For areas to the south of Geeveston, two alerts have been downgraded due to an easing of the fire risk.
North of Geeveston the existing Emergency Warnings remain in place. This is due to the proximity of those communities to the fire, localised erratic fire behaviour or the fact that wind continues to push the fire in their direction.
Huonville remains at Advice.

Dover:
- Downgraded to Advice level from Watch and Act:
- Based on a change in current and predicted weather conditions, including wind direction.

Waterloo, Surges Bay, Brooks Bay, Glendevie and Police Point:
- Downgraded to Watch and Act from Emergency Warning:
- Based on current and predicted weather conditions including wind directions. Note, the fire is approximately 2 km from Glendevie and the Huon Hwy, therefore a small change in weather conditions including wind direction may change the alert level and compromise the Glendevie community and the Huon Highway.

Geeveston:
- Remain at Emergency Warning:
- Based on continued threat to residents in this area from erratic fire behaviour and changing weather conditions including wind direction. The bushfire has created a 'horseshoe' shape around Geeveston, therefore, changes in wind direction and weather conditions has potential to threaten the area quickly.

Castle Forbes Bay:
- Remain at Emergency Warning:
- Based on close proximity of the main fire to this area as well as the erratic fire behaviour.

Franklin:
- Downgraded to Watch and Act from Emergency Warning:
- Based on the current and predicted weather conditions and distance of the fire to Franklin.

Huonville:
- Remain at Advice level:
- Based on current and predicted safe distance to the fire and weather conditions.

Glen Huon and Judbury:
- Remain at Emergency Warning:
- Based on current and predicted weather conditions including wind direction and proximity of fire to townships.

Lonnavale:
- Remain at Emergency Warning:
- Based on observed erratic fire behaviour and ember attacks, current and predicted weather conditions including wind direction and proximity of fire to township.

Visit www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts for current road closures and how these road closures impact on residents in the area.



Tasmania Fire Service

Bushfire update - Thursday 31 January

Date: 31 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media and Comms (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Fire crews have spent another night patrolling bushfire affected areas.

At the Riveaux Road fire, crews continued to patrol and protect properties. There was some increased fire activity in the Kermandie area.
This morning an updated Emergency Warning was issued for the Lonnavale area including Denison Road, Woolleys Road and Lonnavale Road due to an increase in fire activity on that edge of the fire.

In the south Central Highlands, the Great Pine Tier fire activity remained quiet overnight with patrol crews extinguishing hotspots.

There were no reports of significant flare-ups around Zeehan and Rosebery. These fires remain at advice level.

Some rain was reported on fireground overnight but had little impact on the fires.

South westerly winds are forecast to remain for much of today with speeds of 30-35 km per hour.

Crews will focus efforts on protecting property and suppression in areas around Lonnavale, Judbury, Glen Huon and Franklin in the south and Penstock Lagoon, Shannon Tier, Miena and Liawenee.

Other crews will take advantage of the wind change to containment lines and attack the fires in the southeastern areas to prepare for expected northerly winds on Sunday

No further property losses have been confirmed from overnight. Impact assessments are still underway.

Confirmed property losses, as already reported:

1 x shack (Skittleball Plains - Great Pine Tier fire)
Lake Laura Hut (3x3m fishers hut, Great Pine Tier fire)
Kayak shed (Riveaux Road fire)

This week, commencing Monday 28 Jan

3 x houses at Glen Huon (Riveaux Road fire)
Churchill's Hut (Gell River fire)
Shipping container (Braeside Road, Castle Forbes Bay - Riveaux Road fire)
10km fencing (Great Pine Tier fire)
Shed (Waddamana - Great Pine Tier fire)



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

TFS bushfire update - 30 January 2019

Date: 30 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: DPFEM Media and Comms (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Fire crews from Tasmania Fire Service, Parks and Wildlife and Sustainable Timber Tasmania, supported by personnel from interstate and New Zealand continue to battle 28 fire across the state.

TFS is urging people in bushfire affected areas to leave early because it is the safest option.

The risk of staying was highlighted today when up to ten people were isolated by fire at Penstock Lagoon. Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service were on scene and are assisting them until they can be relocated to safety. No one has been injured.

A fire also started near Blackman Hill, Murdunna today at around 12.30pm. Aircraft were able to slow the fires spread long enough to allow fire crews and heavy machinery to be both in to begin containment lines. This work will continue throughout tomorrow. The investigation into this fire has been handed to Tasmania Police.

The fires in the Huon Valley and Central Plateau, the Gell River fire, and fires near Zeehan and Rosebery remain at warning levels.

Elsewhere in the state TFS and partner agencies are also working to contain a number of fires.

At Murchison River in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, remote area firefighters working in arduous conditions have had success in containing that fire.

Efforts to protect world heritage values from Anne Gorge to Mount Bobs from the Riveaux Road fire continue.

Critical communications infrastructure at Tim Shea is being successfully protected from the Gell River fire.

Significant effort put in for weeks to protect Churchill's Hut was unsuccessful today. The hut was destroyed by fire when conditions became unsafe for firefighters who had to leave the area. The sprinkler system similar to that which protected Lake Rhona's sensitive vegetation earlier in the month, was not able to stop the fire from impacting the hut.

At Lake Augusta, remote area crews have completed a 6km containment line to help slow the Great Pine Tier fire from reaching the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.

A total fire ban remains in place until 2am Thursday morning.

The TFS advises the community to:

  • Heed TFS warnings and advice
  • Plan what you will do if there is a bushfire in your area
  • Continue to report unlisted fires to TFS by calling Triple Zero
  • Listen to ABC Local Radio and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.

Impact assessments in the Huon area will be conducted as soon as safely possible.

Assessments have been hampered by smoke and dangerous trees.

Confirmed property loss to date:

  • 1 x shack (Great Pine Tier fire)
  • Lake Laura Hut (3x3m fishers hut, Great Pine Tier fire)
  • Kayak shed (Riveaux Road fire)
  • 3 x houses at Glen Huon (Riveaux Road fire)
  • Shipping container (Braeside Road, Castle Forbes Bay - Riveaux Road fire)
  • 10km fencing (Great Pine Tier fire)
  • Shed (Waddamana - Great Pine Tier fire)


Tasmania Fire Service

Homes lost as firefighters prepare for another dangerous day

Date: 29 Jan 2019 - 00:00

The Tasmania Fire Service has confirmed that three properties have been destroyed by a bushfire burning uncontrollably in the Huon Valley.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Arnol said the homes on Bermuda Rd and Frypan Rd near Glen Huon were undefendable and praised the homeowners for making early decisions to leave.

"Fire crews stayed for as long as they safely could to try to protect these homes but, sadly, they could not be saved," Chief Fire Officer Arnol said.

"Thankfully the residents are safe and the decision to leave early was the correct decision."

Chief Fire Officer Arnol implored residents of the Huon and also those living close to the Central Plateau fire to remain vigilant as dangerous weather conditions are expected tonight and tomorrow (Wednesday).

There will be a total fire ban in the south of the state as well as in the Northern Midlands and the Break O'Day municipalities.

Temperatures are expected to reach the low 30s in some areas with strong, gusty winds likely, particularly tomorrow afternoon.

Chief Fire Officer Arnol said the TFS feared more homes could be lost.

"We do expect more structure losses. We all need to have a bushfire plan," he said.

The TFS is battling four major bushfires across the state: in the Huon Valley, on the Central Plateau, at Gell River in the southwest and at Zeehan on the West Coast.

More than 400 personnel are working on the fires, including those from interstate and New Zealand, and their ranks will be bolstered by about 60 new arrivals tomorrow.

However, at this stage there has been no request for assistance to North America.

District Officer Andrew McGuinness said the Huon Valley communities of Judbury, Lonnavale and Glen Huon were likely to be threatened tonight and tomorrow and the areas in the paths of the fires had high fuel loads.

Firefighters are also working hard to protect critical infrastructure including power generation and transmission lines.

Chief Fire Officer Arnol implored all Tasmanians to remain alert and to heed early warnings.

"Awareness is critical. Crews are stretched and conditions can change very quickly," he said.

The TFS advises the community to:

Heed the total fire bans in place;
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;
If you decide to stay and defend your property, make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for this;
Continue to report unlisted fires to TFS by calling Triple Zero;
Listen to ABC Local Radio and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.



Tasmania Fire Service

Tahune Airwalk visitor's centre saved

Date: 29 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media and Comms (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Firefighters were able to save the Tahune Airwalk visitor's centre from a sustained ember attack due to a nearby bushfire last night.

While the main building did not suffer any damage, smaller structures near the Airwalk were damaged or destroyed.

The Tasmania Fire Service is liaising with the operators to assess the damage today.

The Southwood wood processing site was also damaged by fire late yesterday.

Tasmania Fire Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania crews were initially able to put out spot fires in log heaps, sawdust piles and wood waste.

However, a fuel storage shed and chemical storage areas were damaged.

Sawdust in a sawdust hopper also caught fire.

Embers have melted plastic roofing sheets on a larger building.

Crews were able to enter the building to put out these fires until conditions on the site were deemed too unsafe and crews were forced to relocate to a safer area.

The extent of the damage at the site is uncertain at this stage and will be assessed when safe to so.



Tasmania Fire Service

Bushfire update - Tuesday 29 January

Date: 29 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media and Comms (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2424

Fire crews spent the night patrolling the bushfire affected areas of Judbury, Glen Huon, Franklin right through to Geeveston in the Huon Valley, and Hermitage to Waddamana in the Upper Midlands.

There have been no reports of either the Riveaux Road or Great Pine Tier fires breaking containment lines or creating spot fires overnight.

A backburn conducted on the southern edge of the Great Pine Tier fire late yesterday has so far successfully contained that edge.

Large Air Tankers were used in the Huon Valley and on the Gell River fire. A Large Air Tanker also assisted on a fire that broke out at Clarendon Vale in the early evening.

Fire investigators will attempt to gain access to assess unconfirmed reports of property damage in the Huon area if it is safe to do so today.

The fire danger is 'Very High' in bushfire-affected areas which will mean crews will continue to be challenged today. While the conditions eased overnight, today's conditions will push the fires in a south-easterly direction and allow the fires to grow.

People remaining in the fire-affected areas need to be aware of the fire activity around them and call Triple Zero if the fire approaches.

People need to leave early if their homes are not well-prepared and able to be actively defended.



Tasmania Fire Service

Bushfire update - Monday 28 January

Date: 28 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: State Public Information (StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

It has been a busy day for firefighters, with significant fire activity in the Upper Midlands and Huon areas.

There are 44 fires listed, with 21 of those considered going.

The fire danger rating exceeded forecast conditions today, with some areas reaching 'severe'. Tuesday and Wednesday will be warm days, with Wednesday bringing the most concerning conditions. A total fire ban will be declared for Wednesday in the south and parts of the north - details will be confirmed on Tuesday.

Emergency Warnings have been issued for several communities in the Huon Valley. Emergency Alert phone messages have been issued for specific locations within the Riveaux Road warning area.

People in the warning areas have been advised to consider leaving their property to a nearby safer place, or an evacuation centre.

Firefighting is currently taking place at the Southwood Wood Processing Plant after embers burned through skylights. Crews are working to minimise damage to the plant.

A 737 'bomber' aircraft is en-route from NSW this evening to the Huon Valley to assist by dropping a load of gel, and will return to NSW once that task is complete.

There are unconfirmed reports of property losses and it is unlikely this information will be verified today.

Emergency warnings are also in place for communities at the southern end of the Great Pine Tier fire. All crews and aircraft assigned to that fire are protecting assets in the Hermitage and Jean Banks Road areas and attempting to keep the fire to the west of Highland Lakes Road.

Firefighting strategies in the Wadammana area have successfully minimised impact to critical transmission power lines.

In the south-west, sprinklers are being installed around Lake Judd in the Mt Anne area to protect sensitive vegetation.

Advice from Tasmania Fire Service remains as follows:

  • 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;
  • Listen to ABC Local Radio for rolling coverage of the bushfire situation and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.


Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Tasmanians urged to reamin vigilant to bushfire threat

Date: 27 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmanians are urged to be conscious of bushfires and not become complacent in milder conditions.

"Although conditions are milder today, over 1,000 kilometres of uncontained fire edge remains burning across the state," said Tasmania Fire Service Chief Officer, Chris Arnol.

"With more challenging fire behaviour predicted towards the middle of this week, and another 5-6 weeks to go this bushfire season, it's not the time to become complacent."

Around 370 firefighters and 31 aircraft are today fighting 72 fires, with 49 actively going.

"This afternoon we have five bushfires posted at Emergency Warning level, five at Watch and Act and 20 at Advice.

"It's important to remember that bushfire warning levels are changing status regularly and I encourage everyone to seek updated information from the Tasmania Fire Service website."

Of the most concern at the moment are the Riveaux Road and Great Pine Tier bushfires listed at Emergency Warning.

The Riveaux Road bushfire is posted at Emergency Warning for the areas of Lonnavale, Glen Huon, Judbury, and Bermuda Road. This fire is around 14,000 hectares.

The Great Pine Tier bushfire in the Central Plateau is posted at Emergency Warning for the Eastern Edge of Lake Echo, South of Shannon, Waddamana, Synots Sugarloaf and Bashan Plain. There was minimal fire spread overnight with the fire now around 36,600 hectares.

"People situated near an Emergency Warning level bushfire should leave now. Burning embers will arrive ahead of the main fire, and smoke and ash will make it difficult to see and breathe - the safest thing you can do is leave before the fire arrives."

"To ensure everyone has access to current information we're holding Community Meetings in bushfire affected areas. Community meetings were held today in Miena, Bothwell, Huonville and Maydena, and will be held tomorrow in Zeehan and Rosebery."

"In Wadamana, fire crews are working in consultation with Hydro and TasNetworks to shore up containment lines to protect critical power infrastructure."

A Total Fire Ban remains in place for the whole state until 2am tomorrow morning. With a significant amount of fire still in the landscape people are urged to heed the total fire ban and act responsibly.

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;

Listen to ABC Local Radio and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Bushfire Community meetings, Zeehan and Rosebery

Date: 27 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There a two bushfire community meetings planned for tomorrow, Monday 28th January

Zeehan, Trail Harbour and Granville Harbour: 1pm at the Zeehan Scout Hall

Rosebery: 3pm at the Rosebery Memorial Hall

Representatives from the Tasmania Fire Service, Tasmania Police and the State Emergency Service will be in attendance.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Bushfire Community Meetings Sunday 27 January

Date: 26 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: State Public Information Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Four Bushfire Community Information Meetings are taking place on Sunday 27 January. All members of the community are encouraged to attend a meeting to get the latest information.

  • Maydena - Maydena Hall, Kallista Road - 12.30pm- Regarding the Gell River Fire North West of Maydena.
  • Huonville- Huonville PCYC, 42 Wilmot Road - 12.30pm - Regarding the Reveaux Road Fire North West of Geeveston.
  • Bothwell - Bothwell Town Hall, Alexander Street - 3.00pm - Regarding the Great Pine Tier Fire in the Great Lake area.
  • Miena - Miena Community Centre, 55-59 Cider Gum Road - 6.30pm -Regarding the Great Pine Tier Fire in the Great Lake area.


Tasmania Fire Service

Australia Day fire update

Date: 26 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: State Public Information (StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There are 52 fires in Tasmania today. 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 Riveux 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 have been 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.

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;

Listen to ABC Local Radio and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.

Stats:
52 fires
99,000 hectares area burnt
950kms fire edge
3 property losses (no further losses since last report)
370 personnel
32 aircraft



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire update

Date: 25 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: State Public Information (StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The bushfire situation in Tasmania continues to cause some concern to firefighting agencies and today has proved a challenge. Fire activity has been erratic and severe conditions are expected to remain well into the night on the east coast.

Fire weather conditions reached severe in some parts of the state and several fires broke their containment lines as predicted, including the Great Pine Tier fire which is suspected to have doubled in size to around 40,000 hectares.

The Gell River fire also broke its containment lines and crossed the Gordon Gorge. There is no threat to populated communities from this fire at this point in time and the priority is on protecting the Tim Shea communications tower, and the cultural heritage of the Adamsfield area.

Three fires of concern continue to put communities at risk. Those fires are Riveaux Road/Tahnune, Great Pine Tier in the Central Highlands and Western Hills on the West Coast. Several warnings remain in place for communities at risk of impact from that fire and will remain in place until the threat eases.

10 new fires started today. Four of those are still going, with the cause of those fires to be determined by a fire investigator. None of those fires are endangering communities at this point in time.

TFS continues to recommend people in bushfire affected areas leave early to an evacuation centre where this is one.

People who are planning bush camping trips and day trips this Australia Day long weekend should cancel. In these fire danger conditions, it is not safe to camp in areas surrounded by bush.

The community is also reminded that there is a Total Fire Ban in place for all of the state across the weekend.

The TFS advises the community to:

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;
If you decide to stay and defend your property, make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for this and be aware that in the predicted conditions, even properties you think you can defend will be undefendable
Continue to report unlisted fires to TFS by calling Triple Zero;
Listen to ABC Local Radio and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.

Stats:
Fireline - 969kms (Hobart - Newcastle equivalent)
Area burnt: 82,585 hectares
Property losses to date:
a homestead near Miena (Skittle Ball Plains), a kayak shed at Tahune and a 3x3m fishers hut at Lake Laura



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire Update #1 - Friday 25 Jan

Date: 25 Jan 2019 - 00:00

Tasmania Fire Service reinforces the message to all Tasmanians to stay away from areas of current bushfires and cancel plans to visit bushland areas this weekend.

Fire activity at the Lynch Hill fire has significantly increased and that fire is burning through buttongrass. Emergency warnings have been issued for Zeehan and Renison Bell areas. Emergency alert text messages have been sent out to those communities.

People in those areas who wish to leave early are asked to travel south to Queenstown and or North-east to Waratah and beyond. The best thing people can do in these conditions is leave early because it is the safest possible thing to do. A fire under the expected conditions can move very quickly with the potential for embers starting fires up to 20km ahead. An evacuation centre is open at Queenstown Basketball Stadium.

Communities in the highland lakes area are also reminded to stay on high alert, with Emergency Warnings in place for Shannon, Waddamana, Penstock Lagoon and Hilltop. An evacuation centre is open at the Bothwell Town Hall.

An evacuation centre is also open at the Huonville PCYC for those affected by the fire in the Tahune area.

Very High fire danger ratings are already being detected in central parts of the state around Liawenee and those ratings and fire activity are expected to increase across the state this morning.

People who are planning bush camping trips and day trips today and this Australia Day long weekend should cancel. In these extreme fire danger conditions, it is not safe to camp in areas surrounded by bush.

The community is also reminded that there is a Total Fire Ban in place for all of the state across the weekend.

The TFS advises the community to:

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;
If you decide to stay and defend your property, make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for this and be aware that in the predicted conditions, even properties you think you can defend will be undefendable
Continue to report unlisted fires to TFS by calling Triple Zero;
Listen to ABC Local Radio and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.

Stats:
Number of fires - 53 listed, 29 of those active.
Area burnt: 66,000 hectares
Personnel: approximately 500 - including 145 from interstate and NZ



Tasmania Fire Service

ADVICE TO MEDIA: Process for TFS and TasPol media enquiries for Friday 25 January

Date: 25 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media and Comms (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2424

Advice to media - change to media process

All media enquiries for Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Police will be triaged by the DPFEM media unit (Police media unit) today.

Contact details:

media@dpfem.tas.gov.au

(03) 6173 2424

Please use the information provided on the TFS website and media releases, and TasPol community alerts. Only contact the media unit if absolutely necessary.

Fireground and aircraft access will NOT be granted today.

Radio stations - please contact us via email this morning to arrange a pre-recorded interview for you to use this morning. If you require audio from press conference please contact the media unit.

Joint media conference - TFS, TasPol, BOM, PWS

11am and 3pm - TFS Headquarters in Hobart



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Helicopter Incident

Date: 24 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A minor mechanical incident occured earlier this afternoon with a single engine helicopter that has been working on the Southwest bushfires.

The pilot was the only person on board and is safe and well with the helicopter landing on a small tarn west of Fenton Forest.

It is expected that the helicopter will be operational tomorrow.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

People near bushfires advised to leave

Date: 24 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: State Public Information (StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The Tasmania Fire Service has advised people near current bushfires to consider leaving the area and encouraged all Tasmanians to stay away from bushland with dangerous weather conditions predicted for tomorrow (Friday).

The TFS has 50 fires listed across the state, 28 of which are considered going. The fire line has grown to 805km and about 64,000 hectares has now been burnt.

There are nearly 600 people currently working on the fires, including 145 personnel from interstate and New Zealand. All states and territories (except the Northern Territory) are now represented.

Despite this tremendous response, the TFS implores residents in communities near the fires to be fully aware of their own responsibilities.

The current resources are not likely to hold the fires considering the high temperatures and extremely strong winds expected tomorrow.

While there is no request to evacuate, the TFS is asking people to make sensible decisions for them and their families based on the severe fire danger conditions.

The best thing people can do in these conditions is leave early because it is the safest possible thing to do. A fire under the expected conditions can move very quickly with the potential for embers starting fires up to 20km ahead.

Even those whose homes are well prepared to defend against fire will find their property is not defendable in these conditions.

People who are planning bush camping trips and day trips this Australia Day long weekend should cancel. In these extreme fire danger conditions, it is not safe to camp in areas surrounded by bush.

The community is also reminded that there is a Total Fire Ban in place for all of the state across the weekend.

The TFS advises the community to:
Heed the total fire bans in place from tomorrow onwards;
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;
If you decide to stay and defend your property, make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for this;
Continue to report unlisted fires to TFS by calling Triple Zero;
Listen to ABC Local Radio and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Alert levels on Central Plateau fire downgraded but further difficult conditions expected

Date: 23 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: State Public Information (StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6230 8424

TFS crews have made good progress suppressing fires across the state today, taking advantage of favourable weather in anticipation of a return to challenging conditions over the next few days.

The TFS has 46 fires listed and 27 of those are considered "going" fires.

All resources are being used to build control lines and most of the alert levels on the Central Plateau fire have been downgraded.
One property was destroyed by fire overnight by the bushfire (Great Pine Tier Fire) burning near Miena, despite the best efforts of the landowner and the TFS.
A total of 55,000 hectares has burnt since the end of December when the Gell River fire in the south-west started from lightning. Crews have been battling a combine 720km of fireline.
While today has provided some respite, Deputy Chief Officer Bruce Byatt warned that Friday was forecast to bring the worst fire weather for this bushfire season so far.

"While a lot of work has been done to date, it's not over yet," he said.

"We are preparing our crews for these conditions, including prioritising where fire trucks and aircraft will be working with our priorities being to protect life, communities and infrastructure.
"We're urging all Tasmanians to think about their bushfire survival plan and suggest to people to avoid bushland areas on Friday.
"Conditions predicted for Friday will see fast moving and uncontrollable fires.
"With multiple bushfires currently burning across our state it is critical that the community abide by the Total Fire Ban that will be in place from 2am tomorrow (Thursday 24 January until 2am Monday (28 January).
"That Total Fire Ban applies to the entire state. This means all outdoor fires, barbecues and portable stoves using wood, charcoal or other solid or liquid fuel are banned. If you are planning a barbecue, electric and gas stoves and barbecues can be used provided they are at least one metre clear of flammable material.

"We make this decision to protect all Tasmanians from the threat of bushfire.

"New fires in the landscape on top of what we are dealing with now will push us to the limit.

"Any new fires that do start will put communities at great risk. We must not be complacent ahead of the severe conditions we are expecting.

"We expect that many fires we have successfully contained will break their containment lines on Friday if the predicted weather conditions eventuate.

"While we want everyone to enjoy their weekend, we would ask people to reconsider holidaying in bush or remote locations. It is your responsibility to keep you and your family safe, so make good decisions now and don't put yourself in harm's way."

"The day of particular concern to us is Friday because of high winds, high temperatures and low humidity. We urge you to be prepared for this," Deputy Chief Officer Byatt said.

The TFS advises the community to:

Heed the total fire bans in place from tomorrow onwards;
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;
If you decide to stay and defend your property, make sure you are physically and mentally prepared for this;
Continue to report unlisted fires to TFS by calling Triple Zero;
Listen to ABC Local Radio and visit fire.tas.gov.au for the latest bushfire information and advice.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Miena Media Briefing

Date: 23 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A media briefing will be held at the Great Lake Hotel at 2.30pm today with Deputy Regional Chief (North), Ian Bounds regarding the property loss at Miena and the current and future fire situation.

Media are requested to meet TFS Media Liaison Officer, David Cleaver at 2.00pm at the Highland Lakes Road and Poatina Road Junction, at the road closure sign.

The State-Wide briefing is still occuring at 3.00pm today at TFS in Hobart. Tasmania Police will also be attending this briefing.

Media are requested to avoid the fire areas at this point and to respect the road closures that are in place.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

**Media Conference 3pm today- Amended**

Date: 23 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There will be a media briefing at Tasmania Fire Service State Headquaters at 3.00pm today.

The State Fire Controller, Bruce Byatt, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Simon McCulloch from the Bureau of Meterology will be available to talk with the media regarding the current situation and the predicted fire weather in coming days .

Please meet State Public Information Officer, Peter Middleton at Tasmania Fire Service Reception, corner Melville and Argyle Street at 2.50pm.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

**Media Conference at 3.00pm**

Date: 23 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There will be a media briefing at Tasmania Fire Service State Headquaters at 3.00pm today.

The State Fire Controller, Bruce Byatt, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Simon McCulloch from the Bureau of Meterology will be available to talk with the media regarding the current situation and the predicted fire weather in coming days .

Please meet State Public Information Officer, Peter Middleton at Tasmania Fire Service Reception, corner Melville and Argyle Street at 3.10pm.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

One property confirmed destroyed near Miena

Date: 22 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The Tasmania Fire Service can confirm that one property has been destroyed near Miena.

More details will be provided tomorrow.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Fire fight continues

Date: 22 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The fire fight continues with 48 fires in Tasmania, 32 of which are going and 17 are in patrol. Deputy Chief Officer, Bruce Byatt said it is important for the public to know that "at this stage many of these fires are uncontrollable and creating extensive smoke in the state". Conditions are not likely to ease until later tonight. This includes multiple Emergency Warnings in place for Barren Tier, Tods Corner, Penstock Lagoon, Miena, Shannon, Liawenee. Three Watch and Act messages are in place for Flintstone, Wilburville and Morass Bay. Several Advice messages and two Smoke Alerts in place for Greater Hobart, Huon Valley including Geeveston, Huonville, Judbury and Surrounds

Regarding the Great Pine Tier Fire in central Tasmania, fire agencies are continuing to focus efforts on protecting communities, the environment and community assets and infrastructure. This fire has grown to approximately 10, 000 hectares. Mr Byatt said "today has seen challenging fire weather conditions on the ground for our firefighters". Mr Byatt said "a total of 47 trucks have been undertaking property protection around this fire and to our knowledge there has been no property losses". "We are aware of some fencing losses and are assessing the situation where safe to do so".

In the south of the state an Emergency Warning is in place for the Tahune Airwalk for Riveaux Road and South West Complex Fires at this stage. Mr Byatt said "The Tahune Airwalk and facilities have been protected at this stage".

Sustainable Timber Tasmania can confirm that the fire to the west of the Tahune Airwalk has impacted Permanent Timber Production Zone land including that surrounding the Tahune Airwalk. As a precautionary measure, operations at the Southwood wood processing site have been shut down and emergency management plans enacted.

Regarding the South West Complex fires Mr Byatt said "we are focusing efforts on protecting the world heritage sensitive areas, including areas around Mt Anne". The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife said "given the fire conditions across the state today, a number of additional reserves and walking tracks in Tasmania's national parks have been closed by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service".

It highly likely further closures will be announced as the situation unfolds. A full list of areas, track and road closures is available on the Parks and Wildlife website: www.parks.tas.gov.au/closures

Tasmania Parks and Wildlife said "with the number of fires currently burning and the potential for spotting and new starts due to the forecast weather, the Parks and Wildlife Service is asking people NOT to venture into remote areas from now until the end of the long weekend (Tuesday 29 January 2019)".

Community meetings are scheduled for tonight at 7pm at the Geeveston Community Hall and the Bothwell Community Hall. Mr Byatt said "members of these communities are encouraged to attend to get the latest information"

Mr Byatt said "we need all Tasmanian's to be thinking about their Bushfire Survival Plan". With leaving early being the safest option.

Considerable resources are in Tasmania and more are coming from interstate and New Zealand including 21 Remote Area Firefighters tomorrow. There has been 24 aircraft deployed today, including a 737 aircraft that can carry up to 43, 000 litres of retardant/water.

The Tasmanian public is reminded that a Total Fire Ban is in place until 2:00am on the 23 January. With a second Total Fire Ban to commence on Thursday and conclude on Monday 29th January. Mr Byatt said "we cannot see any more fires in the landscape particularly with the predicted conditions for Thursday and Friday".

TFS urges the public to be prepared and to monitor the TFS Website for up to date fire information and to please report any fires to Tasmania Fire Service by phoning Triple Zero.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Media requested to not visit firegrounds or surrounds

Date: 22 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

We request that the media do not visit or go near any firegrounds today.

We have received reports of the media trying to enter firegrounds from different areas.

It is not safe to visit any firegrounds today.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss.

There is a 3pm media briefing at TFS in Hobart today.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

**Change of time to Media Briefing - Now 3pm**

Date: 22 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There will be a media briefing at Tasmania Fire Service State Headquaters at 3.00pm today.

Bruce Byatt, the State Fire Controller and Simon McCulloch from the Bureau of Meterology will be available to talk with the media regarding the current situation.

Please meet State Public Information Officer, Peter Middleton at Tasmania Fire Service Reception, corner Melville and Argyle Street at 2.50pm.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

**State Media Briefing - 3.15pm Today**

Date: 22 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There will be a media briefing at Tasmania Fire Service State Headquaters at 3.15pm today.

The State Fire Controller and Simon McCulloch from the Bureau of Meterology will be available to talk with the media regarding the current situation.

Please meet State Public Information Officer, Peter Middleton at Tasmania Fire Service Reception, corner Melville and Argyle Street at 3.10pm.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Increased smoke activity in the north of the State

Date: 20 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Paul Symington Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There is currently significant smoke in the north of the State which is originating from the Great Pine, Central Plateau fire. The smoke is being pushed towards the north by winds and is likely to be visible over the next few days.

People travelling in the area should exercise caution if driving in smoke. Turn on your headlights and drive slowly.

People with medical conditions are advised to have a personal plan for avoiding smoke from the burn. Advice is available from the Department of Health www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/publichealth/air/bushfire_smoke or the Asthma Foundation of Tasmania www.asthmatas.org.au

People travelling in the area should exercise caution if driving in smoke. Turn on your headlights and drive slowly.

If you live in the area of the fire, stay informed in case conditions change by monitoring local radio stations and the Tasmania Fire Service Website - www.fire.tas.gov.au



Tasmania Fire Service

TFS prepares for multiple days of total fire ban this week

Date: 20 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There will be Total Fire Bans declared on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday this week.

Forecast weather conditions on these days will make containing existing fires and stopping newly started fires extremely difficult.

"This week our community needs to be prepared for some very challenging fire weather conditions. In spite of the enormous amount of hard work and success we have had to date Tasmanians should be aware that any of the fires we currently have could break their containment lines and burn uncontrollably," said Chief Officer, Chris Arnol

Forecasts from the weather bureau are indicating very high fire dangers in the north and south of the state on Tuesday with very high fire dangers extending across most of the state on Thursday and Friday.

"These forecast conditions are going to put our current containment lines under great stress, and with a number of fires still uncontrolled the likelihood of fires escaping is very high.

"I want to stress that the last thing we need is any new fires starting as this will place a huge burden on our resources.

"While we have had success containing these fires with aircraft and ground crews there comes a point where a fire will burn out of control despite our best efforts.

"TFS is well resourced and we have robust plans in place to mitigate the impact of these fires should they take a run but all of us need to be prepared.

"Property owners must ensure their property is clear of long grass, twigs and leaf litter as these fuels spread fire quickly. You should review your Bush Fire Survival plan and if you don't have one you must plan for what you will do if there is a fire near you.

"If your home is not well prepared for a bush fire then leaving early is your safest option.

"Fires are everywhere in Tasmania right now. If you are spending time in the bush over the weekend you must be aware of the local conditions, stay up to date through the TFS website and listen to ABC local radio if there is a fire near you," said Mr Arnol.



Tasmania Fire Service

***Media Alert - Press Conference***

Date: 19 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A press conference will be held today at 4.00pm at TFS Northern HQ, 339 Hobart Road, Youngtown.
A representative from TFS will provide an update on the current fire situation at Miena and be available for questions.



Tasmania Fire Service

TFS getting the upper hand on fires

Date: 18 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

TFS crews have had another successful day getting on top of a number of fires around the state.

There are currently 68 fires listed in Tasmania. 47 are going with 21 in patrol.

Three fires are at advice level: The Reveaux Road Fire for Tahune and its surrounds, The Great Pine Fire for Lake Fergus, Great Pine Tier and Little Pine Lagoon and the Gell River Fire for Maydena, Tyenna, Mount Field and Nation Park.

At this stage none of these fires pose a risk to communities or infrastructure.

"Aircraft and firefighters have been strengthening containment lines and putting out and mopping up the fires we can reach. They have also been patrolling the fires we have contained," said Deputy Chief Officer, Bruce Byatt.

"Once again we have been lucky to have reasonably favourable conditions that have allowed us to focus our efforts on suppression, containing and extinguishing many of these fires.

"However tomorrow we are expecting westerly winds. This means the wind will blow from west to east, taking smoke and ash with it. If you live in the eastern half of the state you should expect to see and smell smoke tomorrow. People with medical conditions are encouraged to have a personal plan to manage the risks of smoky days.

"As we move into the warmer weather next week people should be aware that TFS may start positioning our resources closer to communities to protect them from the potential threat of fire," said Mr Byart

As a precaution the walking tracks across the Huon and Picton River have been closed due to the fire near Pear Hill. The Tahune Air walk itself remains open at this stage.

Also in consultation with the event organisers the fishing competition at Lake Pedder scheduled for the 24 to 28 January has moved to an alternative location.

Other recreational users of Lake Pedder should be aware that firefighting aircraft will be using the lake to access water for the fire.

Signage is being placed at boat ramps around the lake and TFS urge all users to follow the instructions. Alternately people may consider another spot to fish.

A drop-in and chat with the Tasmania Fire Service about the current fires burning around the Southwest, Hartz Mountain National Parks and surrounding areas is being held at the Geeveston Community Hall, Brady Street Geeveston from 11 am to 3pm this Saturday the 19th

Two Smoke Alerts are in place for the following areas:

The Greater Hobart, D'entrecasteaux Channel, Derwent Valley, Huon Valley and Bruny Island.

And the Marlborough Highway near Little Pine Lagoon

None of the fires currently active pose a risk to communities or assets at this stage.

Report fires to Tasmania Fire Service by calling Triple Zero.

For more information about preparing for bushfires visit www.fire.tas.gov.au and listen to ABC Local Radio in the event of an emergency.



Tasmania Fire Service

STRUCTURE FIRE MOONAH

Date: 18 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: SO Aaron Blizzard Phone: (03) 6230 8424

At 1:00pm this afternoon the Tasmania Fire Service was called to a Structure Fire at Coleman Street Moonah.

Crews from Hobart, Glenorchy and Bridgewater responded and on arrival found a fire in the wall and roof areas.

The occupants were at home at the time but unaware of the fire until they were alerted by a passerby that there was smoke coming from the roof.

Two firefighters entered the building in breathing apparatus and gained access to the roof space and quickly extinguished the fire. Firefighters also removed weatherboards external to the building to extinguish the fire in the wall cavity. Roofing iron was also removed to assist with ventilating operations.

The fire was started in a wall cavity unbeknownced by the owner using a heat gun to strip paint from the weatherboards.



Tasmania Fire Service

TFS working to contain fires

Date: 17 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

TFS has spent the day controlling and extinguishing 70 fires burning across the state.

Over 160 firefighters, support staff and aircraft have been deployed to fight the fires.

A request for a further 80 interstate personnel and additional aircraft has been sent to further assist and support TFS personnel over the coming days.

Spotter flights, aerial water bombing and hard work by ground crews have allowed TFS to contain or extinguish some of the 50 fires reported as going this morning.

At this stage there are a number of uncontained fires in the far South West which are being regularly assessed by air.

"Our strategy of hitting these fires hard and fast with aircraft ahead of ground crews where access allows, continues to be successful with the number of fires reduced from 70 this morning to 64 this afternoon." said Chief Officer, Chris Arnol.

"We have used today's milder conditions to make significant headway in reducing the risk these fires pose. This brief respite has been vital ahead of expected worsening fire weather conditions over the coming week end."

TFS urges Tasmanians to remain vigilant as the forecast weather conditions may place a strain on the fire containment lines causing further outbreaks. The community must continue to play a vital role in our efforts to reduce the impact of fires in the landscape.

"I am urging Tasmanians to remain vigilant as the forecast weather conditions may cause further problems.

"We need to be mindful that it is only January and we still have a long summer ahead of us.

"You can play your part by minimising your use of fire, staying up to date on fires near you by checking the TFS website and reporting unlisted fires to us immediately on Triple Zero." said Mr Arnol.

Two fires remain at Advice level: Lake Fergus in the Central Plateau and the Gell River fire in the South West.

A Smoke Alert is in place for the following areas: Greater Hobart, D'entrecasteaux Channel, Derwent Valley, Huon Valley and Bruny Island.

None of the fires currently active pose a risk to communities or assets at this stage.

Report fires to Tasmania Fire Service by calling Triple Zero.

For more information about preparing for bushfires visit www.fire.tas.gov.au and listen to ABC Local Radio in the event of an emergency.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Community Meeting - Miena at 5pm

Date: 17 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A Community Meeting is taking place at 5pm at the Great Lake Community Centre (55-57 Cider Gum Road), Miena.

The focus of the meeting will be the fire at Great Pine Tier that is affecting the areas of Lake Fergus, Great Pine Tier & Little Pine Lagoon.

All members of the community are encouraged to attend.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Fire update, Emergency Alert for Lake Fergus and Great Pine Tier

Date: 16 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Currently there is one Emergency Alert message in place for Lake Fergus and Great Pine Tier. All bushwalkers and recreational fishers are encouraged to leave the area immediately. Advice messages are in place for the following areas including; Dromedary, Tom Thumb - Wellington Park, Lower Wattle Grove, Maydena, Tyenna, Mount Field and National Park.

Several bands of lightning crossed the state in the last 48 hours. Approximately 2500 lightning strikes (ground strikes) occurred yesterday afternoon and into the evening igniting dozens of fires, particularly in Southern Tasmania and around the greater Hobart area, Huon Valley and Southwest.

Tasmania Fire Service, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania are prioritising fires in terms of where the fires are and how they can be best dealt with.
Deputy Chief Officer, Bruce Byatt said "there are approximately 70 incidents, with 53 of these classified as going, 1 contained, 15 in patrol". "Many of these fires are burning in rugged and inaccessible terrain which will be challenging to contain. It is likely fires will continue to be detected".

Mr Byatt said "several fires in close proximity of each other continue to burn in the Southwest National Park". All fire agencies are urging people to reconsider any leisure activities including bushwalking in the Southwest National Park and Hartz Mountains National Park until all fires are identified.

Mr Byatt said "we have several fires that we have identified through members of the public and strategic spotter flights yesterday and this morning, however due to the sheer amount of lightning strikes that hit landfall across a broad area, more fires may be identified as the days progress".

Mr Byatt said "we are trying to contain as many fires as we can with the available resources as early as we can".
Multi-agency Regional Operations centres and Incident Management teams are co-coordinating responses to the fires. Resources are in place across the state, including strategically placed aircraft, appliances, fire crews, strike teams and support staff.

Mr Byatt said "there are currently 53 interstate personnel in the State assisting with the Gell River incident. These resources consist of an ongoing deployment of a Remote Area Firefighting Team (RAFT) from NSW (12 remote area firefighters and 2 paramedics), base camp (established at Fenton Forest) with 6 management staff, along with several aircraft personnel".

Mr Byatt said "a request for an additional RAFT deployment (12 plus 2 paramedics) to run in parallel to the current deployment will be finalised today".
TFS urges the public to monitor the TFS Website and ABC radio for up to date fire information and to please report any fires to Tasmania Fire Service by phoning Triple Zero.

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) said "making sure walkers and people in fire-affected parks and reserves are safe is the main priority".

A/General Manager Andrew Roberts said "this includes PWS staff checking walker log books, over-flying tracks and if necessary, getting people out".

"Mt Anne in the Southwest National Park is a particular focus at the moment. We have a reported 50 walkers being extracted by helicopter," Mr Roberts said.

"The situation is fluid and the message is that visitors do not commence bushwalks or four-wheel driving in remote areas across the state until further notice."
A full list of track, park and area closures will be constantly updated on the PWS website: www.parks.tas.gov.au/closures

The Bureau of Meteorology said "hot conditions will continue on Thursday with maximums forecast to reach into the mid-to-high 20s for most areas, and into the low 30s for parts of the north and central areas". A cool change will occur late Friday as a cold front approaches from the west with temperatures expected to drop back to the low-to-mid 20s across the weekend.

The BOM said "although showers are expected for central areas on Thursday and in the northeast and southwest on Friday, no significant rainfall is expected over the coming days. Light winds across the state will pick up late Friday afternoon and may see gusts peak up to 65 km/h in the south and northeast. Fresh and gusty westerly winds persist over much of the state though Saturday and Sunday".



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Briefing 3.15pm today - Fire situation following significant state-wide lightning

Date: 16 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - State Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

There will be a media briefing at Tasmania Fire Service State Headquaters at 3.15pm today.

State Fire Controller Bruce Byatt will be available to talk with the media regarding the current situation.

Please meet State Public Information Officer, Peter Middleton at Tasmania Fire Service Reception, corner Melville and Argyle Street at 3.10pm.



Tasmania Fire Service

Media Release - Lightning events cause dozens of fires

Date: 16 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Public Information Officer Andrew Emery Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Close to 2500 lightning strikes occurred yesterday afternoon and into the evening igniting dozens of fires, particularly in Southern Tasmania and around the greater Hobart area, Huon Valley and Southwest.

Tasmania Fire Service, Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania are prioritising fires this morning in terms of where the fires are and how they can be best dealt with.

There are currently 65 identified at this stage. Several of these fires are burning in rugged and inaccessible terrain which will be challenging to contain.

Several fires in close proximity of each other continue to burn in the Southwest National Park. TFS urges people to reconsider any leisure activities including bushwalking in the Southwest national park and Hartz Mountains National park until all fires are identified.

More accessible fires were dealt with swiftly last night by fire crews and these fires will be patrolled today.

TFS Southern Region Fire Controller Mark Dobson said that there may be other fires in areas that are yet to be identified.

"We have several fires that we have identified through members of the public and strategic spotter flights yesterday and this morning, however due to the sheer amount of lightning strikes that hit landfall across a broad area, more fires may be identified as the days progress.

"We are trying to contain as many fires as we can with the available resources as early as we can, however some fires, in particular the fire burning at Pine River in the states central highlands grew quickly before it was discovered". Mr. Dobson said.

Multi-agency Regional Operations centres and Incident Management teams are co-coordinating responses to the fires.

Currently there are two Advice messages in place for the areas of Lake Fergus in the Central Plateau from a fire burning and Maydena, Tyenna, Mount Field and National Park.

TFS urges the public to monitor the TFS Website for up to date fire information and to please report any fires to Tasmania Fire Service by phoning Triple Zero.

It is anticipated that an opportunity for interview will be provided after 3pm today at TFS Headquarters, Melville Street, Hobart.

Further details will be disseminated shortly.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Lightning strikes keep fire crews busy

Date: 15 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Fire crews have been kept busy today responding to a number of fires starting from lighting strikes. Over 1200 lightning strikes have occurred across Tasmania in the 18 hour period from 8pm last night until 2pm today.

As well as the ongoing management of the Gell River, Southwest fire, as at 4.00pm today the Tasmania Fire Service, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania has 25 fires with 8 in patrol and 17 going.

Very high fire dangers are forecast to continue for some districts across the Midlands and Central North on Wednesday. Conditions are forecast to ease in other areas of the state.

TFS State Fire Controller Bruce Byatt said "today's fires have been small and manageable" "We have been able to hit them hard and fast before they become a problem".
"We have seen low relative humidity and high temperatures inland about some areas of the Upper Derwent Valley, Midlands, East Coast and Central North which did generate some very high fire dangers" Mr Byatt said.

Spotter flights have been investigating and identifying new fires throughout the day which we have been able to control and contain quickly. Further dry lightning activity is forecast over the next 24 hours. Mr Byatt said "we encourage the community to report any fires that they see early by calling triple zero".

"People in bushfire prone areas need to understand that under these conditions, fires can start and spread easily".

"Pre-positioned fire crews and aircraft have allowed us to respond to fires quickly in the areas most at risk".

There is currently an Advice message on the Douglas Apsley fire with all walkers and travellers being advised to leave the Apsley Water Hole area (off Rosedale Road) within the Douglas Apsley National Park immediately due to a bushfire burning in the area.

Regarding an update on the Gell River fire, currently there is an Advice message for the fire. There is no immediate threat. However, fire under today and tomorrow's weather conditions can make the fire difficult to control. Work is continuing on containing the fire.

People in Maydena, Tyenna, Mount Field and National Park should keep up to date by listening to ABC Local Radio by looking at TFS website at www.fire.tas.gov.au



Tasmania Fire Service

Unidentified helicopter disrupts Gell River fire airspace

Date: 15 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service is again reminding pilots of aircraft and drones of the potential danger and disruption that may be caused by flying within the airspace of firefighting operations.

At around 5pm on Monday 7 January a TFS firefighting helicopter became aware of an unidentified helicopter encroaching on the firefighting airspace over the Gell River fire, approximately 1,000 feet from the TFS helicopter.

Attempts to contact and identify the aircraft by radio were unsuccessful and it left shortly after the attempts were made.

"This incident posed a significant risk to the aircraft and people participating in aerial firefighting operations, and also had the potential to ground firefighting aircraft and halt firefighting. TFS will be taking a zero tolerance approach to any such breaches and will be reporting these to the relevant authorities," said Acting Assistant Director, State Operations Neil Brooksbank.

"Unfortunately some private aircraft operators appear to be either unaware of, or ignore notices relating to aerial operations around fires. These notices request all piloted aircraft and Unmanned Aircraft Systems such as drones remain clear of aviation activity associated with firefighting operations.

"Thankfully this incident passed without serious consequence and firefighting operations were unaffected. However, it is disappointing that our pilots have to contend with these easily avoidable issues while undertaking their important firefighting role." Mr Brooksbank said.

TFS have conducted an internal review of this incident and have referred the incident to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Information regarding the rules for operating any aircraft in or around a bush fire can be found at www.casa.gov.au.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Increasing fire dangers, TFS encourages Tasmanian's to remain vigilant

Date: 15 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service is urging Tasmanians to be prepared for Very High fire dangers forecast for many districts across the south and Central North and North West today and on Wednesday.

TFS Southern Regional Fire Controller Mark Dobson said "the hot conditions will bring with them the potential for elevated fire danger in parts of the state".
"We are expecting low relative humidity and high temperatures inland about the Upper Derwent Valley, Midlands, East Coast and Central North which will generate Very High fire dangers" Mr Dobson said.

Temperatures are expected to reach the mid to high 30s in the Upper Derwent Valley and the Midlands. Further to this possible isolated thunderstorms with little to no rain across the state. Mr Dobson said "there was a number of lightning strikes overnight, we currently have spotter flights investigating as to whether any new fires have started".

"Moving into Wednesday we expect Very High fire dangers to remain in the Midlands, Upper Derwent Valley, and Central North and extend to the North West Coast districts".

"People in bushfire prone areas need to understand that under these conditions, fires can start and spread easily".

"TFS has pre-positioned crews and aircraft to allow us to respond to fires quickly in the areas most at risk".

In light of the fire conditions today and on Wednesday TFS recommends Tasmanians living in areas at risk of bushfire:

Review their bushfire survival plan and decide now what to do if a fire starts nearby
Check the local fire danger
Stay up to date on fires in the local area by proactively checking the TFS website and listening to ABC Local Radio
Anyone who sees a fire should call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Regarding an update on the Gell River fire, currently there is an Advice message for the fire. There is no immediate threat. However, fire under today and tomorrow's weather conditions can make the fire difficult to control. Work is continuing on containing the fire.

People in Maydena, Tyenna, Mount Field and National Park should keep up to date by listening to ABC Local Radio by looking at TFS website at www.fire.tas.gov.au



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Very high fire dangers over the next few days, update on predicted conditions

Regional Fire Controller Mark Dobson will be available at 12:00pm today to discuss today and tomorrows fire weather conditions.

Please meet Public Information Officer, Peter Middlaton at Reception at TFS Cambridge (1040 Cambridge Road) at 11:55am.



Tasmania Fire Service

Gell River Fire - Update

Date: 14 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Public Information Officer Andrew Emery Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The fire which has burnt about approximately 20,000ha, remains uncontained and continues to burn approximately 20km northwest of Maydena town ship. The southern fire edge is approximately 7km north of Adamsfield.

Up to 100 personnel from Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania Fire Service, Sustainable Timber Tasmania and Private Contractors along with 6 rotary wing aircraft are currently allocated to the fire. Air operations are being staged from an airbase located near Bushy Park as well as Strathgordon.

Twelve remote area firefighters from NSW Rural Fire Service are assisting with the response. They are working on the North East edge of the fire. These firefighters will complement the work being done by Tasmanian remote area teams from Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Tasmania Fire Service.

Remote area firefighters are working in rugged and difficult terrain. Firefighters are using the best techniques and technologies for extinguishing this fire. Some hot spots are difficult to reach as accessing them requires a 4 hour return walk.

PWS Deputy Incident Controller Shane Breen said the Incident Management team was monitoring the weather situation in regards to the Gell River (Southwest) fire and contingencies have been developed should there be any uncontrolled outbreaks of fire over the coming days with pending elevated fire weather.

"We are confident contingencies that have already been put in place south of the fire to protect important assets are sufficient, should they be required. This involved setting up sprinklers around several huts of historical significance and deploying crews to protect critical communications infrastructure on Tim Shea".

"The containment lines that firefighters have worked tirelessly on over the last several days have been successful in holding the fire under very-high fire conditions that have been experienced on the fire ground.

"Firefighters continue to identify and extinguish hotspots near the fire edge however it only takes one ember to land in unburnt vegetation and start a new fire and that is a real possibility with elevated fire weather". Mr. Breen warned.

An Advice alert remains in place for Maydena, Tyenna, Mount Field and National Park. There is no immediate threat to people living in the area however conditions can change quickly. Over the coming days, there is again expected to be elevated fire danger caused by stronger winds, low relative humidity and high temperatures. TFS urges the public to:

  • Review their bushfire survival plan and decide now what to do if a fire starts nearby.
  • Make yourself familiar with the Community Protection Plan for your area on the TFS website, particularly to identify your Nearby Safer Place should you need it.
  • Regularly check for updated messages and alerts on the TFS website.
  • Listen to ABC Local Radio which will read out any Community Alerts and Warnings that are issued.
  • Report any new fires by phoning Triple Zero (000).


Tasmania Fire Service

Day of Total Fire Ban passes without major incident

Date: 11 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Today's total fire ban day in the south has passed with no major incidents reported.

TFS has responded to seven fires across the state, including six in the south where the total fire ban is still in place until 2am on Saturday. Three of those fires have been handed to Tasmania Police to investigate possible breaches of the total fire ban.

Apart from the fire at Gell River, the only fires still active are at Shag Bay in Risdon and a fire at Carlton River.

"Tasmanian fire agencies were well-prepared for today's Very High fire danger conditions, with resources positioned at areas of greatest concern. We appreciate the majority of the public complying with the total fire ban a limiting the amount of fires in the landscape," said Deputy State Fire Controller Jeff Harper.

"Conditions across Tasmania remain dry, with very little rain predicted in the coming weeks. Warmer conditions are expected to continue in the North East of the state tomorrow. Some relief is expected on Sunday before fire weather conditions pick up early next week.

The Gell River fire in the state's south west remains at 'Advice' level and continues to burn. It is approximately 20 500 hectares in size with a 100 plus kilometre boundary. The advice related to Maydena, Tyenna, Mt Field, and National Park, with a smoke alert current for Derwent Valley, Huon Valley, Midlands and Greater Hobart.

"Remote area firefighters and water bombing aircraft continue to make good progress on suppressing the fire, particularly on the active southern edge. Encouragingly, at this stage, the fire has not increased much in size despite today's conditions.

"Firefighters from NSW Rural Fire Service have arrived in Tasmania to complement the work being done by Tasmanian crews. They have spent the day being briefed on the fire and Tasmanian conditions and will be sent to the north eastern edge of the fireground very early tomorrow morning.

"TFS also had extra fire crews and a community liaison in the Maydena area to assist and provide advice to the community. At this stage there has been no impact from the Gell River fire on the communities around Maydena today," said Mr Harper.

Additional work is being done to protect assets from the Gell River fire, including laying retardant lines and pre-positioning crews at the Tim Shea communications tower.

With six weeks of summer remaining, Tasmanians are encouraged to develop a Bushfire Survival Plan. Information about bushfire survival plans is available on www.fire.tas.gov.au

If you see a fire, report it immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

For up to date information on incidents and what to do in the event of a bushfire visit www.fire.tas.gov.au



Tasmania Fire Service

North East prepares for high fire danger

Date: 11 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

In preparation for expected very high fire danger in the North East of the state on Saturday, Tasmania Fire Service is urging Tasmanians to reconsider their need to use fire between now and Saturday.
"With expected very high fire danger ratings across the North East, we are asking for the community's assistance by avoiding the use of fire in the open this weekend. This includes fires under a cubic metre which don't need a permits" said Regional Fire Controller, Danny Richardson
"We are also asking landowners to reconsider the need for grass slashing or mowing, just one spark from a rock or the heat from a hot exhaust can start a fire which will spread quickly in tomorrow's forecast conditions.
"TFS is well prepared for tomorrow but the community plays a big part in reducing the risk of uncontrolled fire in the landscape by exercising caution on days of high fire danger and by reporting fires they see by calling Triple Zero." Said Mr Richardson
Report fires to Tasmania Fire Service by calling Triple Zero.
For more information about preparing for bushfires visit www.fire.tas.gov.au and listen to ABC Local Radio in the event of an emergency



Tasmania Fire Service

Total Fire Ban in the south on Friday

Date: 10 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2973

Tasmania Fire Service has declared a total fire ban for the 24 hours from 2am Friday 11th January 2019 until 2am Saturday 12th January 2019 for all southern region municipalities.

A total fire ban applies to all outdoor fire, including incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots and wood-fuelled barbecues.

This will affect the following municipalities:

South: Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands, Tasman.

Current weather predictions provided by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate Very High fire danger ratings for several districts in the state on Friday.

The conditions are forecast to be windy and dry with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees in certain areas.

The declaration of a Total Fire Ban means that no fires can be lit in the open air.

Landowners with fires already burning or fires they have recently had on their property are required to make sure they are completely extinguished.

When instances of high fire danger occur, it is important that people know exactly what you will do if a fire threatens their home or property. To assist with planning, people are encouraged to visit the Tasmania Fire Service website to view the Community Bushfire Protection Plans for their area. They provide information about Nearby Safer Places, evacuation routes and how to receive emergency information. Information is also included that will assist in preparing individual emergency plans prior to a fire occurring.

More information on Total Fire Bans and incidents in your area can be found at www.fire.tas.gov.au or by listening to ABC Radio.



Tasmania Fire Service

Very High Fire danger for tomorrow and Saturday - Interstate resources called in to assist with Gell River fire

Date: 10 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2973

Tasmania Fire Service is urging Tasmanians to prepare for Very High fire danger forecast for many districts across the state tomorrow and Saturday.

TFS Chief Officer Chris Arnol said the hot conditions will bring with them the potential for elevated fire danger in parts of the state.

"Tomorrow we are expecting low relative humidity and high temperatures about parts of the South East and Upper Derwent Valley which will generate Very High fire dangers," Mr Arnol said.

"Moving into Friday we expect Very High fire dangers to remain in the Midlands and Upper Derwent Valley and extend to the North West and Central North districts on Saturday.

"People in bushfire prone areas need to understand that under these conditions, fires can start and spread easily.

"TFS will pre-position crews and aircraft to allow us to respond to fires quickly in the areas most at risk. We have requested two additional helicopters from New South Wales to assist with rapid response to bushfires and protect communities. Base camp infrastructure is also on its way to Tasmania from NSW so we can accommodate our local firefighters as close to the fireground as possible," Mr Arnol said.

Twelve firefighters and two remote area paramedics from New South Wales Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) with specialised remote area skills will also arrive in the state today to assist with the response to the Gell River fire in the south west.

"These self-sufficient crews, called 'arduous rated remote area firefighters', will be sent to the wilderness area of the fireground first thing tomorrow morning. Their skills include the ability to camp on the fireline in remote wilderness areas and carry their own firefighting equipment.

"The crew from NSW will complement the work being done Tasmanian remote area teams from Parks and Wildlife and Tasmania Fire Service. They will be focussing on a specific edge of the fire that suits their skills," Mr Arnol said.

The firefighters will be in Tasmania for five days, with another group arriving for a second five day period next week.

In light of the fire conditions on Friday and Saturday TFS recommends Tasmanians living in areas at risk of bushfire:

Review their bushfire survival plan and decide now what to do if a fire starts nearby
Check the local fire danger
Stay up to date on fires in the local area by proactively checking the TFS website and listening to ABC Local Radio

www.fire.tas.gov.au

Anyone who sees a fire should call Triple Zero (000) immediately.



Tasmania Fire Service

Gell River (Southwest) Bushfire - Update

Date: 8 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Andrew Emery - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 62258325

Over 60 firefighters supported by 8 aircraft and heavy machinery continue to work on the Gell River fire in the states Southwest.

On 27 December, lightning ignited two separate fires in close proximity. Shortly thereafter both fires joined to create what is 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 8 aircraft.

The fire is burning in the Vale of Rasselas and along the Denison Range and Gordon Range, in a south-south easterly direction. The southern front is about 10 km northwest of Tim Shea. Tim Shea is 16 kilometres west of Maydena along the Gordon River Road.

Fire along the western side has burnt in buttongrass, upslope into the Denison Range around Lake Rhona and other alpine lakes before self-extinguishing on the ridge tops. There is a sprinkler line at Lake Rhona, which has protected the fire-sensitive vegetation - mainly pencil pine. Vegetation around two lakes to the west of Lake Rhona have escaped substantial fire damage.

The fire has currently burnt approximately 20500 hectares of buttongrass and mixed forest vegetation with an approximate fire boundary in excess of 100km.

TFS Incident Controller Steve Richardson said suppression operations conducted by fire crews and water bombing aircraft have been successful to date with many active fire edges being minimised.

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

"Although the fire is still uncontained, good progress is being made utilising favourable weather conditions in bringing the fire under control however due to the complexities of the vegetation and terrain, the fire will not be extinguished completely. The fire is burning in very difficult and challenging terrain." Mr. Richardson said.

There are a number of fire-sensitive World Heritage Values present in the area, including the alpine plateau above Lake Rhona and areas of mixed forest and temperate rainforest. Specific World Heritage Values at risk from the fire include pencil pines, king billy pines, peat soils and cushion plants. The fire has had some impact on PTPZ (Permanent Timber Production Zone) land. An assessment of the impact of the fire in all of these areas is continuing.

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.

Smoke is likely to impact the Southern Region for the coming days and air quality is being closely monitored. 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.

A community meeting is planned for Maydena on Thursday evening (10 January 2018) - at the Community Hall at 7.00pm.



Tasmania Fire Service

Media Interview Opportunity - Gell River (Southwest Fire)

Date: 8 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Andrew Emery - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

All media are invited to attend an opportunity for interview this afternoon regarding the Gell River (Southwest) fire at the Tasmania Fire Service Cambridge Complex.

Present will be Incident Controllers Nik Deca (PWS) and Steven Richardson (TFS).

Where: 1040 Maxwell Road, Cambridge

When: 2pm

A media release will also be distributed later today.

Please meet Andrew Emery at Reception.



Tasmania Fire Service

Media Release - Gell River (Southwest) Bushfire

Date: 7 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Andrew Emery - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Firefighters continue to work on bringing a fire burning near Gell River in the states Southwest under control.

Over 60 Tasmania Fire Service, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania fire crews and incident management personnel with help from firefighting aircraft have been working on the fire.

The fire has currently burnt approximately 20000 hectares of buttongrass and mixed forest vegetation and is currently approximately 10km North West of Tim Shea in the Vale of Rasselas.

There are a number of fire-sensitive World Heritage Values present in the area, including the alpine plateau above Lake Rhona and areas of mixed forest and temperate rainforest. Specific World Heritage Values at risk from the fire include pencil pines, king billy pines, peat soils and cushion plants.

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.

Tasmania Fire Service Incident Controller Rod Sherrin said "although the fire is still uncontained, good progress is being made utilising favourable weather conditions in bringing the fire under control.

"Specialist remote area firefighters are working considerably hard in difficult terrain to extinguish the fire.

"the sprinkler line at Lake Rhona, has so far been successful in protecting the fire-sensitive vegetation in that area and on-ground firefighters have worked to also protect other areas of significant environmental value". Mr Sherrin said.

A specialist NSW Rural Fire Service helicopter continues to provide infrared scanning to identify hot spots for water bombing and on the ground firefighting activities as well as accurate fire boundary information.

The fire has had some impact on PTPZ (Permanent Timber Production Zone) land. An assessment of the impact will be made in the coming days.

A temporary bridge has been deployed to cross the Florentine River to enable heavy machinery to access the eastern side of the fire.

Two successful community meetings were well attended on 5 January at Maydena and Hamilton and further community meetings are being planned for later this week.

Smoke is likely to impact the Southern Region for the coming days and air quality is being closely monitored. People with medical conditions are advised to have a personal plan for avoiding smoke from the burn.

Advice is available from the Department of Health www.dhhs.tas.gov.au/publichealth/air/bushfire_smoke or the Asthma Foundation of Tasmania www.asthmatas.org.au

For information on current road closures, please visit the Tasmania Police website: http://www.police.tas.gov.au/community-alerts/



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Gell River (Southwest) Fire - Photos & Video Footage - 6.1.19

Date: 6 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Please see a link to some further photos and video footage of the Gell River (Southwest) fire

https://www.dropbox.com/l/scl/AACOeT0YNPODGrJoP8hAseVzdWZq_R4KaOY

The photos and video footage can be attributed to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Gell River Bushfire Update Sunday 6 January 2019

Date: 6 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The fire at Gell River (Southwest Tasmania) continues to burn, currently under an Advice alert and is approximately 17,663 hectares in size with a 91 km boundary.

The fire is burning in Buttongrass and mixed forest vegetation approximately 10 km north-west of Tim Shea in the Vale of Rasselas and along the Denison Range. The fire front has passed Gells Lookout in the south and continues east of the Gordon River, along the Gordon Range. Intelligence from the fire ground is telling us that wet type forest is still holding the fire.

Incident Controller Rod Sherrin said "the western boundary has burnt up the buttongrass slopes into the Denison Range around Lake Rhona and other alpine lakes before self-extinguishing on the ridge tops". Mr Sherrin said "there is a sprinkler line at Lake Rhona, which is protecting the fire-sensitive vegetation".

Mr Sherrin said "Fire suppression operations conducted by fire crews and water bombing aircraft yesterday is proving to be successful and active edges have been minimised in these areas".

Today's weather forecast and smoke impacts

In terms of the weather, low cloud is impacting on helicopter operations and suppression activities today. Milder weather has reduced fire behaviour.

Benign weather conditions will continue from today through to Monday. Weather conditions will change on Tuesday which is likely to increase fire activity.

Smoke impacts this evening and into tomorrow are likely to include the Derwent Valley, Greater Hobart and the Huon Valley.

Today's firefighting resources

60 personnel from Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania Fire Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania along with nine rotary wing aircraft are allocated to the fire.

Incident Controller Rod Sherrin said "A specialist NSW Rural Fire Service helicopter is providing infrared scanning to identify hot spots for water bombing and on the ground firefighting activities as well as accurate fire boundary information".

Crews have been unable to enter the fire ground until later this afternoon due to low cloud and smoke trapped under the inversion layer.

Priorities over the next few days

Intent is to prevent any further fire spread that impacts on natural, cultural, commercial and community assets:
ground crews to continue control line works, slow the spread of the fire and protect the world heritage values at Lake Rhona and surrounds;
aircraft operations continue to extinguish hot spots and provide accurate fire boundary and intelligence information when conditions allow;
establish vehicle access to Florentine Valley to manage spot fires in this area, ground truth fuel moisture content and assess timber production forest coupes; and
fire management options drafted incorporating new data as it becomes available.

Community information

Incident Controller Rod Sherrin said "the fire remains uncontained and the public need to remain vigilant and stay up to date with any changes through the TFS website and via local ABC radio".

The following walking tracks remain closed:
Timbs Track
Adamsfield Track
Vale of Rasselas Track
Lake Rhona
Denison Traverse
Squirrel Creek to Lake Curly Track
Sawback 4WD Track and access to Adamsfield

Refer to the PWS website www.parks.tas.gov.au for current updates.

The following roads are closed:
Florentine Road
Styx Road
Dawsons Road

For up to date road closure information please refer to the Tasmania Police website on www.police.tas.gov.au

Please refer to the TFS website on www.fire.tas.gov.au and listen to ABC local radio for updates and changes that may occur through the day.

Two successful community meetings were well attended on 5 January at Maydena and Hamilton. No further meetings are planned at this stage. If the fire activity increases and has the potential of threatening communities' further meetings may take place.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Media Conference 3.30pm Today - Update on the Gell River (Southwest fire)

Date: 6 Jan 2019 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

All media are invited to attend a media conference this afternoon regarding an update on the Gell Rier (Southwest) fire at the Tasmania Fire Service Cambridge Centre.

Where: 1040 Maxwell Road, Cambridge

When: 3.30pm

A media release will also be distributed later today.

Please meet Peter Middleton at Reception.



Tasmania Fire Service

TFS prepared for day of extreme fire danger

Date: 4 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath Phone: StateOps.Media@fire.tas.gov.au

Tasmanians need to be prepared for extreme fire danger today. There is a Total Fire Ban today in all southern and northern municipalities (except Flinders).

The Bureau of Meteorology has advised Extreme fire danger is expected in parts of the Upper Derwent Valley, South East and Midlands today, with Severe fire dangers expected in parts of the East Coast forecast district and Very High fire dangers about the Furneaux Islands, Central North, North East, and Central Plateau.

Tasmania Fire Service crews are at the ready, with strike teams located at Wellington, Cambridge, Bruny Island, Ouse and Oatlands in the south. In the north strike teams will be located at Campbell Town and Youngtown.

Aircraft are staging at Valleyfield, Friendly Beaches, Cambridge, Strathgordon and Devonport.

"We expect that fires could start anywhere in the landscape today. With hot, windy, dry conditions we have the perfect mix for significant fires," said State Fire Controller Bruce Byatt.

"By now people should have a well-practiced bushfire survival plan. If people do not have a bushfire survival plan, they still need to have a plan for today. When fires break out in these conditions, they move quickly leaving little time for decision making.

"Let your friends and family know what your plan is and if you have visitors staying with you who are unfamiliar with the area, ensure they are aware of the conditions.

"In extreme conditions leaving early is the safest option for survival. Only well-prepared, well-constructed and actively defended houses are likely to offer safety during a fire.

If you see a fire, report it immediately by calling Triple Zero (000).

For up to date information on incidents and what to do in the event of a bushfire visit www.fire.tas.gov.au

Listen to the emergency broadcaster ABC Local Radio for updates. ABC Local Radio is available via the ABC Listen app.

For weather updates visit www.bom.gov.au/tas

Check the forecast FDI in your area:

http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colFireDangerRating



Tasmania Fire Service

Total Fire Ban - Friday 4 January

Date: 3 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service has declared a total fire ban for the 24 hours from 2am Friday 4th January 2019 until 2am Saturday 5 January 2019 for southern and northern region municipalities (except Flinders).

A total fire ban applies to all outdoor fire, including incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots and wood-fuelled barbecues.

This will affect the following municipalities:

North: Meander Valley, Tamar Valley, Break O'Day, Northen Midlands, George Town, Dorset, Launceston.

South: Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands, Tasman.

Current weather predictions provided by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate Very High into Severe fire danger ratings for several districts in the state for Friday 4 January.

The conditions are forecast to be windy and dry with temperatures in excess of 35 degrees in certain areas.

The declaration of a Total Fire Ban means that no fires can be lit in the open air.

Landowners with fires already burning or fires they have recently had on their property are required to make sure they are completely extinguished.

Some areas in the Southern and Northern Regions, particularly the South East, Upper Derwent Valley, and East Coast may see temperatures over 30 degrees and wind gusts up to 40km/h which will push fires rapidly making them dangerous and difficult to control.

"A number of the fires that occurred over the Christmas and New Year period proved very difficult to control. For fires that start on Friday with the conditions that are forecast it will be even worse," said Deputy Chief Officer, Bruce Byatt.

"It is vital that as a community we recognise the risks we face from bushfire, especially on days where the forecast fire danger will be challenging.

"People can assist with these challenges by promptly reporting fires via Triple Zero, preparing their properties, reviewing their bushfire survival plans and keeping up-to-date on changing conditions.

Tasmania Fire Service, in conjunction with Parks and Wildlife Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania has instigated a heightened state of readiness during Friday including strategically placed firefighting strike teams and aircraft, pre-formed incident management teams as well as extra firefighting resources to be on standby to quickly deal with any outbreaks of fire.

Tasmania Fire Service urges the public to heed the Total Fire Ban in place and to report any fires immediately by calling triple zero (000). Immediate reporting increases the likelihood that the fire can be contained quickly.

When instances of high fire danger occur, it is important that people know exactly what to do if a fire threatens their home or property. To assist with this planning, residents are encouraged to visit the Tasmania Fire Service website to view the Community Bushfire Protection Plans for their area. These are developed to provide assistance in the event of an emergency that will inform residents of Nearby Safer Places, evacuation routes and how to receive emergency information. Information is also included that will assist in preparing individual emergency plans prior to a fire occurring.

More information on Total Fire Bans and incidents in your area can be found at www.fire.tas.gov.au or by listening to ABC Radio.



Tasmania Fire Service

TFS prepares for severe fire danger on Friday

Date: 2 Jan 2019 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

In preparation for expected severe fire danger in parts of the state on Friday, Tasmania Fire Service is urging Tasmanians to reconsider their need to use fire between now and Saturday.

"TFS is currently is dealing with seven active bushfires and patrolling further eight. The fires, which have all started in the space of a week are located at Sassafras in the north-west, Bruny Island in the south, with other fires in the Midlands and Upper Derwent Valley," said Deputy Chief Officer Bruce Byatt.

"With expected very high and severe fire danger ratings across the North and the South of the state, we are asking for the community's assistance by avoiding the use of fire in the open until this weekend. This includes fires under a cubic metre which don't need a permit.

"We also need landowners to check any fires they may have lit in the last month to ensure they are completely extinguished and have no hot spots.

"It is highly likely that tomorrow we will be declaring a Total Fire Ban for the north and south for Friday in response to the forecast weather conditions. In the event of a Total Fire Ban, there can be no fires lit in the open.

"Fire crews have been working hard over the Christmas and New Year period to contain and extinguish fires. We can all do our bit to help ensure that we do not add to the risks posed by fire by not allowing new ones to start" Mr Byatt said.

Report fires to Tasmania Fire Service by calling Triple Zero.

For more information about preparing for bushfires and Total Fire Bans visit www.fire.tas.gov.au and listen to ABC Local Radio in the event of an emergency.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Conleys Point, South Bruny Island Bushfire - Contained

Date: 26 Dec 2018 - 12:00am Contact: Firecomm Phone: 1800 000 699 (option 2)

The Conley Point bushfire is now contained. TFS would like to reassure the public and travelers that Bruny Island is open and safe to visit.

This includes Cloudy Bay and campgrounds. The only area not accessible to the public is the Conleys Point Road area.

For up to date information on the fire visit www.fire.tas.gov.au and for road closures visit www.police.tas.gov.au

A number of firefighting crews and helicopters will continue to work on the fire over the coming days.

We thank the public and travelers for your understanding and patience over the last few days.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Conleys Point, South Bruny Island Bushfire Update

Date: 25 Dec 2018 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A bushfire was reported at Conleys Point, South Bruny Island on Christmas Eve during the early evening. The fire has burnt approximately 120 hectares with a 9km perimeter. With very high fire danger ratings the fire spread quickly and 30 to 40 metre flame heights were observed. Local volunteer crews from South and North Bruny Island responded with support from a number of firebombing aircraft.

During the early hours of Christmas morning conditions worsened with strong winds pushing the fire in an easterly direction towards Prices Lookout. The fire went to an Emergency Warning Alert level. Incident Controller Neil Brooksbank said "fire crews did a tremendous job protecting a number of properties, one property was lost as well as a number of sheds. The full extent of the fires damage is being assessed over the next few days".

Incident Controller Neil Brooksbank said "a community meeting was held earlier today with local residents, travellers and campers regarding the current situation of the fire". Mr Brooksbank said "local residents have commended local fire crews, particularly during last night when conditions were very difficult".

15 fire trucks and 7 helicopters have been working on the fire today. Similar resources will be deployed to the fire tomorrow.
Mr Brooksbank said this afternoon "firefighters had made good progress in terms of working to contain the fire".

The road to Conleys Point and Cloudy Bay Road beyond Staffords Road is currently closed to the travelling public, residents are able to return. People are advised to stay away from the Conleys Point area, for current road closures visit the Tasmania Police website. www.police.tas.gov.au

Weather conditions over the next few days are favourable for fire crews.

The fire is currently at an Advise level with the cause of the fire currently under investigation.

For up to date information visit www.fire.tas.gov.au



Tasmania Fire Service

Media Briefing - TFS Cambridge Complex - South Bruny Fires

For information, a Media Briefing will be held today 25/12/2018 at 1500 hrs at the Tasmania Fire Service Cambridge Complex, Cambridge Road Cambridge to provide an update on the South Bruny fire. All media representatives are encouraged to attend.

Date: 25 Dec 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Peter Middleton Phone: (03) 6230 8424



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Conleys Point, South Bruny Bushfire Update

Date: 25 Dec 2018 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A bushfire continues to burn at Conleys Point, South Bruny Island.

Fire crews have worked through the night under very difficult conditions.

An assessment is being undertaken this morning to determine the extent of fire activity overnight.

Additional fire crews are en-route to the bushfire.

Approximatley 100 people were evacuated during the night to the Allonah Hall.

Reports of one house and several sheds have been impacted by the fire, crews will confirm during the day. All people have been accounted for at this stage.

Further information will be provided as soon as more information becomes available.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire permits are now required for the following municipalities of Tasmania: Break O'Day, George Town, Northern Midlands, Dorset, Launceston, West Tamar, Flinders, Meander Valley, Burnie, Devonport, Latrobe, Central Coast, Kentish, Waratah-Wynyard, Circular Head, King Island, West Coast, Brighton, Derwent Valley, Hobart, Sorell, Central Highlands, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Huon Valley, Southern Midlands, Clarence, Glenorchy, Kingborough and Tasman.

A fire permit can be obtained by free calling 1800 000 699

Landowners in other municipalities are encouraged to register their burns by freecalling 1800 000 699 to avoid unnecessary brigade responses.

2018-tasmania-fire-permit-extension.pdf



Tasmania Fire Service

TFS launches new recruitment campaign

Date: 20 Dec 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2973

Tasmania Fire Service is today launching a new recruitment campaign to encourage people to rethink their current careers and consider applying their current skills to firefighting.
The new campaign comes as TFS gears up to recruit for 24 career firefighters in 2019, the most firefighters to be recruited in a year since 2000.

Themed "Now's your time", the campaign centres on a new website including short videos of serving firefighters at various stages of their career sharing their stories. It also features a suite of social media graphics featuring firefighters in the early stages of their career.

One of the firefighters featured in the video profiles is Alison Wigston from Hobart Fire Brigade who was promoted to the rank of Leading Firefighter this week.
In her video, Alison says she didn't always want to be a firefighter and she tried many different jobs trying to find her niche. It was only when flicking through a careers book at the library she decided to apply to become a firefighter.

Firefighting has given her a second family and has also meant when it comes to her own family she has been able to be an active participant in the lives of the two children she has had since she joined.

"The shift work has given me valuable time with my children. I have been able to go on many excursions and participate in their lives.

"What I love most about my job is that we all work together as a team - we do walk into difficult situations, but we are never alone.

"I'm extremely proud to wear the TFS badge on my sleeve," Alison said.

As well as the new campaign, for the first time TFS will be offering an opportunity for potential candidates to come and try the physical abilities tests.

"The application process for becoming a firefighter is a rigorous one, and we want to encourage people through the stages that might feel a bit daunting to them," said TFS Chief Officer Chris Arnol.

"A number of firefighters will be on hand for a series of 'come and try days' to show interested people the ropes and give them a go at the tests.

"We are gearing up to recruit 24 new firefighters next year. With a new website and social media campaign, together with the 'come and try days', we hope to attract a bigger pool of men and women who might not have even considered their background would be suited to firefighting.

"The campaign features firefighters with very diverse skillsets - we have a former teacher aide, truck driver, deckhand, builder and wildlife carer. All of these people have been able to apply the skills from their previous careers to their current roles.

"We hope men and women will see this campaign, consider their current careers, and take the step to make their dream of becoming a firefighter a reality," Mr Arnol said.

The other videos in the campaign feature Senior Station Officer Andrew Skelly and recently graduated Firefighter James Eaves sharing their experiences.

The 24 firefighter positions will be advertised towards the end of January 2019.

The new recruitment website is available at www.recruitment.fire.tas.gov.au

Come and Try days:

Two sessions per day (8am- 12pm and 1pm - 5pm) will be available on the following dates in 2019:

Saturday 12 January
Sunday 13 January
Saturday 19 January
Sunday 20 January

Bookings via www.recruitment.fire.tas.gov.au



Tasmania Fire Service

Middleton's new fire station officially opens

Date: 14 Dec 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: contact via media@dpfem.tas.gov.au

The new Middleton Fire Station will be officially opened today.

The new station is on the same site as the original station which was deliberately destroyed by fire in July last year.

TFS Deputy Chief Officer Bruce Byatt said TFS appreciated the patience of the community and the brigade's members while the re-build has been going through the planning and building process.

"The fire brigade has shown great resilience and patience while we have been working on providing them with a new fit-for-purpose station.

"The new station is over 70m2 larger than the old station and much more efficient in its layout. It includes an area for ventilation of clothing, space around the appliances for members to move around, and a training room.

"The loss of their original station was a trying and emotional time for members. We are very pleased to be opening their new facility today with more space and an improved design so the dedicated membership once again has a hub to work from and call their own.

"The brigade's response to incidents in the area was unaffected during this period, largely due to the generosity of a brigade member who housed two small fire trucks on his property, and an additional larger truck located at Woodbridge Station," he said.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire permits required state wide

Date: 13 Dec 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The requirement for fire permits is being extended to cover all Tasmanian municipalities this Saturday at 2am.

"Forecasts for summer indicate warmer than average temperatures and while we have been receiving a fair amount of rain recently, which is great, it will likely lead to a build-up of finer fuels, especially grasses. These grasses when they dry out can ignite easily and spread a fire rapidly' said Deputy Chief Officer, Bruce Byatt

"The requirement for a permit is not intended to discourage landowners from undertaking vital bushfire hazard reduction. A fire permit provides the protections and conditions required to conduct burns as safely as possible when people do decide to burn off. It enables TFS to keep track of any fires and ensure we can respond appropriately to expected spikes in fire danger." Said Mr Byatt

TFS permit officers issue permits with clear conditions that will ensure any burn is conducted as safely as possible. The landowner is responsible for their burn, and permits offer a certain level of protection when landowners adhere to the fire permit's conditions.

Campfires and barbeques do not require a permit. However, people must remain in attendance at all times while any fires remain alight and ensure they are completely extinguished before leaving unattended.

If a fire does escape, call Triple Zero (000) immediately so emergency services can respond and minimise the damage.

Check with your local council for additional burning restrictions.

For information on how to obtain a fire permit free call 1800 000 699 or visit www.fire.tas.gov.au

While the fire permit period is in place the following will apply:

People intending to light a fire for burning vegetation or a similar purpose must obtain a permit.
People intending to light a fire at a sawmill or factory for burning wood waste or other flammable material must obtain a permit.
People intending to light a fire for cooking, warmth or disposal or garden waste do not require a permit provided that:

The fire is not lit in peat, humus or marram grass

The fire is attended by a responsible adult at all times until it is extinguished.

All flammable material is removed at least three metres radius around the fire.

It is less than one cubic metre in size.

NOTE: Some Local Government authorities prohibit backyard burning in residential areas.

Permits are now required for fires in the following municipalities

Southern Region: Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan/Spring Bay, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands, Tasman.

Northern Region: Break O'Day, Dorset, Flinders, George Town, Launceston, Meander Valley, Northern Midlands, West Tamar

North West Region: Burnie, Central Coast, Circular Head, Devonport, Kentish, King Island, Latrobe, Waratah/Wynyard, West Coast.



Tasmania Fire Service

Tasmanian firefighters return from Queensland

Date: 4 Dec 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Abby Jacobson Phone: (03) 6173 2973

Tasmanian fire agency personnel sent to Queensland to assist the management of out of control fires will today return back to Tasmania.

The 53 people returning today are from Tasmania Fire Service, State Emergency Service and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service. They were deployed to Queensland last week where they worked alongside crews from all over Australia to manage in excess of one hundred out of control fires.

TFS Deputy Chief Officer Bruce Byatt said the Tasmanian personnel were very well trained incident managers and firefighters, and their expertise and knowledge was warmly welcomed in Queensland.

"Our people have assisted in varied positions across Queensland and have worked under some challenging conditions, providing welcome relief for local crews," he said.

"Thank you to all our people who responded so quickly to the call for assistance, and for the support at every level to make this deployment a success.

"There is no doubt that everyone will have unique stories of their experience to share, and there will be opportunities for all of us, across the agencies, to learn."

The Tasmanian contingent was farewelled at Brisbane Airport by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Assistant Commissioner Andrew Short this morning as an appreciation of their assistance.

A further 25 Tasmanian personnel left the state yesterday for Queensland. They are expected to return back to Tasmania over the weekend.



Tasmania Fire Service

Boat fire investigation complete

Date: 30 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2973

Fire investigators have determined that a fire which destroyed a 12-metre fishing vessel off the coast of Port Arthur yesterday was most likely caused by an electrical fault or malfunction under wheelhouse.

The fire started on the boat at 5:30am and after unsuccessful attempts to access his fire extinguisher, the occupant jumped from the boat and swam approximately 2km to shore. He was then transported to a local hotel by passers-by and raised the alarm at about 8:30am.

"The boat was not installed with smoke alarms, and considering the boat owner had not long woken up when the fire started, he is very lucky to be alive and it is amazing that he wasn't injured," Fire Investigator Adam Doran said.

"We cannot emphasise strongly enough the importance of smoke alarms being installed in every sleeping area - this includes boats and caravans and anywhere else you sleep, even if it's just for a night. In this instance, the boat owner did have some of the necessary fire safety equipment on board but the absence of a smoke alarm means this could have ended with dire consequences if he was still asleep.

"You can't smell smoke when you are asleep, so you rely on your other senses, such as your hearing, to alert you when there is a fire. That is why smoke alarms are a non-negotiable element of fire safety in your home, boat or caravan," Mr Doran said.

The boat was towed to the Kettering Wharf last night where TFS fire crews attended to extinguish hotspots.



Tasmania Fire Service

Tasmanians to assist the Queensland bushfire effort

Date: 29 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2973

A contingent of 10 Tasmanians will fly to Brisbane today to assist the emergency response to Queensland's bushfire emergency.

The specialist fire personnel from Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service will leave on flights from Hobart, Launceston and Devonport this morning, and is the first of two deployments being sent from Tasmania to assist.

TFS Chief Officer Chris Arnol said all ten specialised personnel will form Incident Management Teams managed by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

"The scale of the emergency Queensland is facing is difficult for many to comprehend. Emergency services personnel from right across Australia are stepping up to assist, and I commend the Tasmanians who have put their hand up to go," Mr Arnol said.

"The international community of firefighting sticks together when the going gets tough, and we are pleased to assist Queensland in any way we can, just as they would for us.

"The main task of our first deployment will be to form two Incident Management Teams and fill roles including incident control, operations, planning, logistics and fire behaviour analysis.

"An additional contingent of 42 firefighters will leave on Saturday to form strike teams to assists on the fireground.

"Queenslanders are showing remarkable strength in trying circumstances and we pass on our thoughts and best wishes to those affected, including our emergency services colleagues," Mr Arnol said.

Tasmania Fire Service will continue to assist Queensland with any further requests for additional deployments as required, to provide respite for Queensland staff and volunteers.



Tasmania Fire Service

Mother and Son narrowly escape house fire in Turners Beach

Date: 16 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

An elderly woman and her son have been lucky to escape from a fire that damaged their home overnight.

Crews from Forth Valley, Devonport and Ulverstone were alerted to the fire at Explorer Drive, Turners Beach around 3am today.

Firefighters arrived to find smoke coming from the roof above a spare bedroom of the home. Crews entered and were able to contain the fire to the room.

Ambulance treated the man and woman for minor injuries and smoke inhalation before transporting them to hospital.

"The man woke to find the spare room on fire." said Fire Investigator, Station Officer Shayne Andrews.

"He attempted to put out the fire but was unable to so he woke his mother and they escaped. Unfortunately the home did not have a working smoke alarm so this pair were lucky to not be more seriously injured."

"The TFS would like to remind the public that only working smoke alarms save lives, you should have one installed in every room where someone sleeps, even if only occasionally."

The cause of the fire is currently under investigation.



Tasmania Fire Service

Laundry business in Glenorchy damaged by fire.

Date: 15 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A commercial laundry business in Chapel Street, Glenorchy has been badly damaged by fire.

Crews from Glenorchy, Hobart and Clarence responded to the fire at around 7.30 this morning.

On arrival firefighters entered the building and discovered a large amount of linen on fire. The fire was also rapidly spreading to the roof of the business.

The fire was bought quickly under control and there were no injuries reported.

A TFS fire investigator is currently on site to investigate the cause.

Further information will be released at the conclusion of the investigation.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire Permit embargo for the Southern Region

Date: 12 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Due to forecast weather conditions, the Tasmania Fire Service will not be issuing fire permits in any southern region municipalities from this afternoon until Tuesday midnight. Any fire permits already issued for fires during that period are suspended as conditions will be outside prescriptions for safe burning.

"Very High Fire Danger ratings are expected on Tuesday for parts of the South which has prompted the Tasmania Fire Service to stop issuing any fire permits until midnight on Tuesday" Regional Chief Jeremy Smith said.

"The risk to the community of issuing permits to allow landowners to conduct burns on their property is too great under the expected conditions which include strong winds and no forecast rain.

"Every reasonable attempt must be made to extinguish fires that are currently burning and if they are unable to be extinguished they must be monitored at all times until the fire is completely out.

'We would also like people to reconsider the need to burn piles of vegetation of a cubic metre or less, which is usually allowed without a permit. In these conditions only one strong gust of wind could pose a risk," Mr Smith said.

People in areas currently not covered under permit requirements are discouraged from any burning in the open as the expected conditions may be experienced more broadly across the state.

The weather forecast will be monitored for any changes.

Members of the public with further questions about the permit embargo can phone 1800 000 699

Information about the weather forecast is available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

To report a fire, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

The municipalities affected by the permit embargo are:

South:

Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman.



Tasmania Fire Service

State Firefighter Championships

Date: 9 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: District Officer Brett Fazackerley Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The Tasmanian Fire Brigades Championships Association State Firefighter Championships kick off at Launceston's Invermay Park at 9.00am on Saturday 10th November. The Championships are being held at the venue for the 11th consecutive year and with a total of 27 teams in the senior and junior sections competing over two days, the competition events promise to be hotly contested.

TFS District Officer and Association President Brett Fazackerley said "the Championships provide a great opportunity for TFS members to practice their operational skills in a controlled, competitive environment in the lead-up to Tasmania's bushfire season. It allows members from neighbouring brigades as well as those from other regions to establish friendships in a somewhat social setting, strengthening the TFS social fabric.

All the events are designed to simulate a potential scenario that firefighters may encounter in an operational context, both urban and rural. Most of the equipment used is standard firefighting equipment that is used on a daily basis by TFS brigades. The Championships continue through Sunday 11th November and should conclude around 2.30pm.

Entry to the event is free and members of the public are encouraged to come along and watch the events and support the teams.



Tasmania Fire Service

Structure Fire Ranelagh

AT 0400hrs this morning the Tasmania Fire Service was called to a Structure Fire at the TASSAL Fish Hatchery Rookwood Road Ranelagh.

Crews from Huonville, Upper Huon, Franklin and Grove responded and on arrival commenced firefighting operations in an electrical switchboard room.

Due to the complexity of the fire and the live electrical system, power was isolated to the Ranelagh area for a short period in order to facilitate firefighting operations.

Quick firefighting actions by the responding Brigades ensued the fire was contained to the switchboard room of the hatchery limiting the fire damage to a switchboard in the main switchboard room.

The hatchery is part of TASSALS freshwater operations systems containing young fish.

Investigations conducted by the TFS Regional Fire Invesigator and Tech Safe have determined the cause to be a failed electrical conductor in the switchboard and an early estimate is in the vicinity of $400,000.

Date: 3 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: District Officer Neil Brooksbank Phone: (03) 6230 8424



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Winds to persist, Very High Fire Danger to continue in some areas on Saturday

Date: 2 Nov 2018 - 12:00am Contact: Firecomm Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Parks and Willdlife Service continue to work on a 600hectare bushfire on Tasmania's east coast at Swanston.

Tasmania Fire Service Regional Fire Controller Greg Butters said, "rain on Friday morning has assisted firefighting efforts, with helicopters and ground crews being utilised to water bomb areas of the fire. The terrain is steep, rocky and very difficult to access".

Mr Butters said "with the large number of lightening strikes (8 to 10,000) that have occured over the last 24-hours there has been no new fire detections at this stage".

"The ongoing wind is of concern, with a severe weather warning in place and winds peaking on Saturday afternoon".

TFS reminds the community that the fire permit embargo continues to be in place until 6:00pm on Sunday night (4/11/18).

We are encouraging the public not to light new fires in landscape whilst we have these severe winds in the state.



Tasmania Fire Service

Bushfire-prone communities join Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods Program

Date: 2 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath Phone: (03) 6173 2973

Twenty bushfire prone Tasmanian communities are gearing up to ensure they are bushfire-ready under the Tasmania Fire Service's Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods (BRN) Program.

TFS Director Community Fire Safety Sandra Whight said "the identified communities across the state had been selected to be part of the award winning community engagement program primarily due to their bushfire risk".

"Our community development team will work directly with these twenty communities for the next two years to understand their bushfire risk, work together to prepare for, and mitigate that risk, and build their capacity to respond and recover in the event of a bushfire in their area," Ms Whight said.

"This program really helps communities prepare. Independent research has found that households in communities that have already undertaken the program are significantly more prepared for the bushfire season.

"Community members will complete survival plans and engage in community development activities to build resilience and undertake mitigation. They will be much better equipped to deal with bushfires that do occur.

"There is no single 'silver bullet' when it comes to bushfire mitigation in Tasmania. The BRN Program is a significant part of a suite of activities that can assist communities to be better prepared for bushfire.

"The BRN program empowers individuals and communities to share the responsibility with fire agencies for being prepared for bushfire mitigation and response," Ms Whight said.

TFS will continue to work with the 38 communities across Tasmania who participated in the first two rounds of the program over the past five years.

Round two of the program reached over 4000 individuals through the delivery of 211 community development activities.

Bushfire-Ready Neighbourhoods Communities - Round 3 - 2018 to 2020

South

North

North West

Campania

Mountain River

Grove

Crabtree

Lucaston

Judbury

Liffey Valley

Greens Beach

Beechford

Lefroy

Derby

Mangana

Fingal

Gladstone

Ansons Bay

Marrawah

Granville Harbour

Zeehan

Squeaking Point
Reedy Marsh



Tasmania Fire Service

Home in Elizabeth Town Destroyed by Fire

Date: 2 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer Adam Salter Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A 3 bedroom weatherboard home in Elizabeth Town has been destroyed by fire.

Tasmania Fire Service crews from Elizabeth Town, Westbury, Deloraine and Sassafras responded to the house fire at 10am this morning to find it fully involved in fire.

The owners were home at the time but no-one was injured.

Further information will be released once an investigation of the cause has taken place.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Increasing fire danger, with winds to increase

Date: 2 Nov 2018 - 12:00am Contact: Peter Middleton - Public Information Officer Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service are currently managing a large bushfire at Swanston, on the east coast (inland from Little Swanport).

Fire agencies are currently assessing and monitoring the fire with partner agencies and an appropriate strategy is being formulated.

There has been some rain in the area overnight, however winds are expected to pick up on Friday afternoon and into Saturday. A number of lightning strikes have also been detected across the state with fire agencies currently gaining intelligence in collaboration with the Bureau of Meterology.

A reminder that a fire permit embargo is in place until 6:00pm on Sunday 4th November.

Members of the public with further questions about the permit embargo can phone 1800 000 699.

Information about the weather forecast is available from the Bureau of Meteorology, www.bom.gov.au.

To report a fire, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

Regional Fire Controller Greg Butters will be available at 2.00pm today at the Regional Operations Centre at Cambridge (1040 Cambridge Road).

The onsite contact at Cambridge is Public Information Officer, Peter Middleton. Please meet at Reception at 1:55pm.



Tasmania Fire Service

TFS attending house fire Avenue Road, Elizabeth Town

Date: 2 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: FireComm Phone: (03) 6230 8424

TFS crews are on the scene of a house fire at Avenue Rd, Elizabeth Town.

Attending media are asked to make themselves known to the Incident Controller and obey their instruction.


Tasmania Fire Service

Very High Fire Danger forecast prompts fire permit embargo

Date: 1 Nov 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2973

Due to forecast weather conditions, the Tasmania Fire Service will not be issuing fire permits in any southern or northern region municipalities from this afternoon until Sunday at 6pm. Any fire permits already issued for fires during that period are also revoked as conditions will be outside prescriptions for safe burning.

"Very High Fire Danger ratings are expected on Friday and Saturday for parts of the North and South which has prompted the Tasmania Fire Service to stop issuing any fire permits until the end of the weekend," Regional Chief Jeremy Smith said.

"The risk to the community of issuing permits to allow landowners to conduct burns on their property is too great under the expected conditions which include thunderstorms and strong, dry winds.

"Every reasonable attempt must be made to extinguish fires that are currently burning and if they are unable to be extinguished they must be monitored at all times until the fire is completely out.

'We would also like people to reconsider the need to burn piles of vegetation of a cubic metre or less, which is usually allowed without a permit. In these conditions only one strong gust of wind or nearby lightning strike could pose a risk," Mr Smith said.

People in areas currently not covered under permit requirements are discouraged from any burning in the open as the expected conditions may be experienced more broadly across the state.

The weather forecast will be monitored for any changes.

Members of the public with further questions about the permit embargo can phone 1800 000 699

Information about the weather forecast is available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

To report a fire, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.

The municipalities affected by the permit embargo are:

South:

Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan Spring Bay, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman.

North:

Break O'Day Dorset, Flinders



Tasmania Fire Service

Four bedroom house in Beulah destroyed by fire

Date: 30 Oct 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer Adam Salter Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A four bedroom weatherboard home built in the 1800s at Daveys Road, Beulah, south of Devonport was destroyed by fire yesterday.

TFS was alerted to the fire at 3pm yesterday after the owner returned home to find the house alight. Fire crews from Beulah, Latrobe, Railton, Devonport and Sheffield arrived to find the house fully alight and starting to collapse.

The house was unoccupied when the fire started and no one was injured. Valuable artwork inside the house and a car parked outside were also destroyed.

An investigation into the cause of the $850,000 fire was completed but due to the extent of the damage the cause was unable to be determined.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Fuel reduction program burn protects tourist accommodation

Date: 30 Oct 2018 - 12:00am Contact: Emma McGrath Phone: (03) 6173 2973

The work of Tasmania's fuel reduction program has successfully protected the Silver Ridge Retreat at Sheffield from being impacted by a bushfire over the weekend.

On Saturday, a bushfire started at Steers Road, Gowrie Park and spread into the Mt Roland Regional Reserve, burning through 29 hectares of the Parks and Wildlife managed reserve.

Three weeks ago Parks and Wildlife Service undertook a 118 hectare fuel reduction burn at Steers Road, Gowrie Park.

Parks and Wildlife Service fire duty officer and north-west fire management officer Eddie Staier said the escaped fire came within 700 metres of the Silver Ridge Retreat property on Saturday afternoon.

"Strong winds moved the fire toward the previous fuel reduction burn, which contained one of the fire's fronts which was moving towards the property and the village of Claude Road," said Mr Staier.

"This particular fuel reduction burn was planned as part of the regional program to provide asset protection for the very communities that were on the fire's edge over the weekend."

Parks and Wildlife Service state fire manager Paul Black said burn locations are selected by analysing the risk, and how reducing the fuels in specific locations will reduce the size and intensity of future bushfires.

"This is an excellent example of how strategically selecting priority areas for burning, based on bushfire risk and protection of critical assets, is effective in creating safer communities," said Mr Black.

The fire has now been contained within a safe burnt-out area. Parks and Wildlife Service fire crews will patrol the fires over the coming days.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Police and is not related to the previous fuel reduction burn.

A bushfire in an area that has been treated by fuel reduction will be easier to control, making it safer for firefighters and causing less damage to communities and valued assets and this is what happened with this incident.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Firefighting efforts continue at Gowrie Park bushfire

Date: 28 Oct 2018 - 12:00am Contact: Eddie Staier Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Back burning operations continue today at a bushfire burning in Mount Roland Regional Reserve, Gowrie Park.

Firefighting crews from Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service, and Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) will work throughout the day to strengthen containment lines and continue back burning operations in order to bring the fire under control. Crews will be assisted by machinery including two dozers and a helicopter. As a result of today's actions, there may be increased smoke and fire activity in the area.

TFS Fire Investigators and Tasmania Police Forensic Officers will work together to determine the cause of the fire.

People are reminded that fire permits are now required in a number of municipal areas across the state and anyone intending to light a fire for burning vegetation or similar purpose must obtain a permit. For landowners outside these municipalities, TFS request you register the burn prior to lightning by telephoning freecall 1800 000 699. Further information on fire permits can be found at www.fire.tas.gov.au

If there is any fire activity causing you concern please report it to TFS by calling triple zero (000). To keep up to date on fire activity please monitor the TFS website at www.fire.tas.gov.au



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Vegetation Fire at Mount Roland Reserve - Gowrie Park

Date: 27 Oct 2018 - 12:00am Contact: Mark Brownrigg Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The vegetation fire at Mount Roland Regional Reserve, Gowrie Park will continue to produce smoke throughout the night. Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, and Tasmaina Fire Service (TFS) crews worked throughout the day to establish containment lines and will continue tomorrow to extinguish the fire. If there is any fire activity causing you concern please report it to the TFS by calling triple zero (000). To keep up to date on fire activity please monitor the TFS website at www.fire.tas.gov.au



Tasmania Fire Service

House destroyed by fire in Fentonbury in the Derwent Valley

Date: 24 Oct 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Regional Fire Investigation Officer Adam Doran Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A three bedroom weatherboard house at Ellendale Road Fentonbury was destroyed today after a mattress that was drying too close to a heater, fell over and caught fire.

"The occupants were working outside at their property when their dog, an Irish Wolfhound named Oregon, alerted them that their house was on fire by barking," said Regional Fire Investigator Adam Doran.

"It is important to remember that all flammable items must be two metres from a heater, and far enough away that they are still two metres away if they fall.

"Thankfully no one was inside the home at the time of the fire, and no one was injured.

The property owner alerted TFS by calling Triple Zero just after 11am and volunteer crews from Westerway, Ellendale, Magra and Gretna attended.



Tasmania Fire Service

Cause of Devonport unit fire under investigation

Date: 24 Oct 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Firecomm Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The cause of a fire in a unit at the rear Renny's Takeaway in Tasman Street today is under investigation by TFS fire investigators.

TFS was alerted to the fire in a unit at the back of the shop by the shop owner just before 3pm today when the shop started filling with smoke.

Two crews from Devonport and Latrobe attended to find the back of the unit on fire. The fire was extinguished within half an hour, with 70 per cent of the unit destroyed. The takeaway shop itself has not been impacted significantly by fire.

No one was in the unit at the time and the shop owner was able to evacuate safely. No one was injured.

More details will be provided once the cause is determined.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire permit period declared - southern region and parts of north and north west

Date: 23 Oct 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath Phone: (03) 6173 2973

As bushfire season approaches, Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) will this week declare a Fire Permit Period for all Southern, three Northern, and four North West Region municipalities.

TFS Deputy Chief Officer Bruce Byatt said an increase in escaped private hazard reduction burns over the past fortnight has prompted TFS to put measures in place to provide further protection for communities from bushfire.

"Around much of the state there is dry vegetation ready to burn and it's time to put the appropriate protections in place for people wishing to burn on their property. From this Thursday until the end of the bushfire season, people in the listed municipalities wishing to light a fire in the open will require a free permit from a local permit officer," Mr Byatt said.

TFS permit officers issue permits with clear conditions that will ensure any burn is conducted as safely as possible. The landowner is responsible for their burn, and permits offer a certain level of protection when landowners adhere to the fire permit's conditions.

"As we move into warmer and drier conditions, people need to be extremely careful using fire. The declaration of the fire permit period is not designed to discourage people from burning, but it is a way of reducing the likelihood of escaped fires because people will be burning when the conditions are right. Permits also allow TFS to monitor fires in the landscape during expected spikes in fire danger," Mr Byatt said.

Campfires and barbeques do not require a permit. However, people must remain in attendance at all times while any fires remain alight and ensure they are completely extinguished before leaving unattended.

If a fire does escape, call Triple Zero (000) immediately so emergency services can respond and minimise the damage.

Check with your local council for additional burning restrictions.

For information on how to obtain a fire permit free call 1800 000 699 or visit www.fire.tas.gov.au

While the fire permit period is in place the following will apply:

People intending to light a fire for burning vegetation or a similar purpose must obtain a permit.
People intending to light a fire at a sawmill or factory for burning wood waste or other flammable material must obtain a permit.
People intending to light a fire for cooking, warmth or disposal or garden waste do not require a permit provided that:

  • o The fire is not lit in peat, humus or marram grass
  • o The fire is attended by a responsible adult at all times until it is extinguished.
  • o All flammable material is removed at least three metres radius around the fire
  • o It is less than one cubic metre in size

NOTE: Some Local Government authorities prohibit backyard burning in residential areas.

Permits are now required for fires in the following municipalities

South North North West

Brighton

Central Highlands

Clarence

Derwent Valley

Glamorgan/Spring Bay

Glenorchy

Hobart

Huon Valley

Kingborough

Sorell

Southern Midlands

Tasman

Break O'Day

Dorset

Flinders

Central Coast

Devonport

Kentish

Latrobe



Tasmania Fire Service

House Fire New Norfolk

Date: 15 Oct 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer Adam Salter Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service crews from New Norfolk and Magra responded to a house fire in Charlotte St, New Norfolk, about 2am this morning. Upon arrival the crews were met with smoke coming from under the dwelling.
Firefighters entered the house using breathing apparatus to extinguish the fire that was burning in the wall cavity.
A 50 year old man was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and transported to hospital by Ambulance Tasmania.
A fire investigation has been conducted and the fire has been determined as accidental with the damage estimated at $120,000.



Tasmania Fire Service

Man Rescued from Sandy Bay

Date: 12 Oct 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer Adam Salter Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The TFS was called to a Rescue at Nutgrove Beach at around 6:30pm last night to assist Ambulance with a man in his mid 50's was pinned by a rock.

The man was fishing off the rocks when he slipped and a large rock had pinned his right arm.

There was no danger of the man drowning as he was far enough away from the waters edge, however it took TFS crews 30 minutes to free the man using mini airbags.

TFS, Police and Ambulance crews then removed the man up a steep rocky incline to a waiting Ambulance.



Tasmania Fire Service

TFS prepares for bushfire season with major state exercise this Sunday

Date: 10 Oct 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer Royce Brougham Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service personnel from all over the state will participate in a large-scale exercise this Sunday to prepare for bushfire season.

Over 200 personnel will participate in practical firefighting exercises in Geilston Bay in the south, Acacia Hills in the North-West and Hadspen in the North.

These exercises will involve multiple fire crews. They will be deployed to staging areas, will conduct site assessments, and establish a strategy to protect people and properties from an advancing bushfire occurring on the -rural-urban interface.

"One of the best ways to test our readiness for response to multiple incidents is to exercise that scenario. A large exercise like this means the fire service can look at it operational performance at all levels, from a task, tactical and strategic command perspectives. It also gives us an opportunity to test our systems before we have to do things in anger," said TFS Chief Officer Chris Arnol.

"Our regional operations centres will be set up to practice planning, public information and logistics, and firefighters will be out in the field running hose lines through properties and practicing our response to fires occurring on the rural-urban interface.

"In Australia, we must learn to live with bushfire, it is literally part of our landscape. A significant proportion of the Tasmanian population lives on the outskirts of cities which are regarded as 'rural-urban interface'. Geilston Bay, Acacia Hills and Hadspen are all typical examples of this. Geilston Bay is an example of a suburban area at significant risk of bushfire, and the scenario used for this exercise is based on a real incident that occurred in the area in 2006.

"We urge people living in communities surrounded by bush to understand their bushfire risk, prepare their properties by clearing around them now and have a bushfire survival plan written and practiced ahead of bushfire season," Mr Arnol said.

Members of the public are advised not to be alarmed by an increased emergency services presence in the Geilston Bay, Acacia Hills and Hadspen areas on Sunday. An information booth will be set up at the Geilston Bay Oval for people wanting to find out more information about activities in the south.

Information about preparing for bushfire season is available on www.fire.tas.gov.au.



Tasmania Fire Service

TFS National Medal presentation

Date: 10 Oct 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath Phone: (03) 6173 2973

Tasmania Fire Service will recognise the long-standing achievements of 50 volunteer and two career firefighters from the southern region at a National Medal ceremony at the Tasmania Police Academy tonight.

Regional Chief Jeremy Smith said the ceremony is an opportunity to thank the people who have given so much.

"These firefighters have clocked up in excess of 1200 hours' service between them. It is an honour to formally recognise them for the years they have dedicated to protecting the Tasmania community," Mr Smith said.

Career firefighter, Senior Station Officer Andrew Skelly will receive his second national medal clasp for 35 years' service to Hobart Fire Brigade. SSO Skelly was 18 when he joined TFS in 1984, the youngest firefighter to have joined the career ranks at that time.

"I was motivated to join TFS from a young age as a teenager in the 70s and early 80s. My father was a volunteer firefighter and I have vivid memories of the air raid siren going off in our town to alert to brigade to an incident. I tagged along to my first fire at Broadmarsh when I was 16 and from then on I was hooked on making that my career.

"Being a firefighter means that on people's worst day, you need to be performing at your best. I am lucky enough to have the best job in the world, where I fulfil my desire to not only help the community in such a crucial way, but also to work with a team of dedicated people with a common goal," Mr Skelly said.

Jess Mulcahy will be recognised with 15 years' service to Rokeby Volunteer Fire Brigade where she serves as Third Officer. Jess has played a key role in revamping the region's juniors and cadets program.

"The work Jess is doing will ensure the next generation of TFS volunteers are skilled and motivated to serve their communities. The future of TFS volunteerism looks bright largely due to the dedication of volunteers like Jess who are passionate about learning and development," said Mr Smith.

The National Medal was established in 1975 as one of the original elements of the Australian system of honours and awards. The medal recognises diligent long service in an organisation that protect life and property at some risk to their members. Fifteen years' eligible service is necessary to qualify for the media. Clasps are available to each additional 10-year period.



Tasmania Fire Service

Antarctic expeditioners trained to provide emergency response

Date: 3 Oct 2018 - 00:00

Australian Antarctic expeditioners are training with the Tasmania Fire Service to prepare them to respond to potential emergencies in Antarctica.

The expeditioners, bound for Davis, Casey and Mawson research stations and sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, will learn how to respond to fire-related emergencies in a course at the TFS Cambridge Training Facility over the next few weeks.

All course participants have a primary role on the station, and in addition, they are trained in firefighting to provide the base with an emergency response.

TFS training instructor, Station Officer Adam Doran, said the fire team will learn the latest firefighting and rescue techniques to be able to respond to incidents such as large building fires, vehicle fires, medical emergencies and those involving hazardous materials.

"The training we provide to the Antarctic crews will provide them with the skills and knowledge to be a fully functioning emergency response team on station.

"While we hope the crews won't have to use these skills while they are there, they will be as prepared as they can be, and gain an understanding of how to deal with fire and other emergencies in their unique environment," Mr Doran said.

Casey Station Leader, Chris MacMillian, said people don't expect fire to be an issue on the frozen continent.

"Antarctica is actually the driest continent on Earth, with most of the precipitation falling in the form of snow or ice crystals, and it can also be very windy with regular blizzards," Ms MacMillian said.

"Fighting fires under these conditions is challenging, so we get some intense training before we depart for our year on the continent."

All the station buildings are well equipped with fire extinguishers and hydrants, and a dedicated fire vehicle remains on permanent standby.

"We are essentially isolated for seven months of the year, relying on each other for fire and other emergency responses.

The relationship between the Australian Antarctic Division and Tasmania Fire Service spans 25 years, with AAD receiving emergency response training annually.

TasFire Training also conducts similar training for many high risk major industrial sites in Tasmania including Norske Skog, Nyrstar, Bell Bay Aluminium, Temco, Grange Resources mines at Port Latta and Savage River. The training allows these sites to have fully functioning Emergency Response Teams.



Tasmania Fire Service

House fire, Premaydena

Date: 25 Sep 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A vacant 3 bedroom house at 60 Coolstore Road in Premaydena was destroyed by fire last night.

Fire crews from Nubeena, Koonya and Eagle Hawk Neck were alerted to the fire around 8pm last night.

The crews arrived to find the house fully alight.

There was no one was living in the home at the time of the fire.

The fire investigation has been unable to determine the cause of the fire.

Damage is estimated at $350 000



Tasmania Fire Service

House destroyed by fire in Whitemore

Date: 24 Sep 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A man and his 12 year old daughter were lucky to escape from their burning home in Whitemore last night after heat from a chimney flue caused a fire in the roof above the living room where the girl was sleeping.

The man briefly left the living room, where his daughter was asleep and returned to find smoke and flames around the wood heater. They were able to escape the house and neighbours alerted the Tasmania Fire Service. When volunteer crews from Whitemore, Carrick, Westbury and Bracknell arrived just after 2am, the house was completely alight.

They treated the man and girl for smoke inhalation and the man for minor burns until paramedics arrived.

'The man and his daughter are very lucky to be alive' said Regional Fire Investigator, Anthony Goss.
'They were only alerted to the fire because of the noise of the fire spreading.' said Mr Goss.

'The TFS recommend that working smoke alarms should be installed in any room where people sleep even if it is only one night a year. Early warning from a smoke alarm is your best chance of escaping alive. The TFS also recommends that wood heater chimneys and flues are maintained by being inspected and cleaned at least twice year.'

The damage to the house is estimated at $120,000.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire damages home in Lauderdale

Date: 21 Sep 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Quick action by neighbours has prevented a home in Lauderdale from being destroyed by fire.

Crews from Lauderdale, Clarence and Rokeby were alerted to the fire in Bayview Road around 9pm last night.

When they arrived firefighters found that neighbours had all but extinguished the fire with a garden hose

Lauderdale Brigade Chief, Paul Baker commended the actions of the neighbours 'Their quick action has definitely saved the house from more extensive damage'.

Investigations have determined that the fire was accidental and caused by an electrical fault in junction under the house.

No one was injured at the incident and damage is estimated at $20,000.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire destroys home in Montumana

Date: 21 Sep 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A home in Montumana Road, Montumana has been completely destroyed by fire.

A woman and her children arrived home at around 3.45pm yesterday to find the property full of smoke. The woman called triple zero and waited outside with her children.

Fire crews from Montumana, Boat Harbour, Wynyard, and Stanley were responded to the fire. Unfortunately by the time crews arrived the home was fully engulfed in flames.

'The cause of this fire is accidental' said Fire Investigator, Station Officer Shayne Andrews. 'However due to the extensive damage to the house we have only been able to narrow down the area where the fire started to the bathroom/laundry area.'

The damage is estimated at $250,000



Tasmania Fire Service

Montello house fire

Date: 10 Sep 2018 - 00:00

A three bedroom house in Montello was destroyed by fire this afternoon after hot ashes were disposed of in a bin, resulting in the bin catching alight.

Four TFS crews responded to the fire in Margaret Street just before 1:30pm today. The house was fully alight when crews arrived, and firefighters were able to prevent the fire from spreading to a neighbouring house.

"When cleaning out a wood heater it is important to ensure the coals are completely extinguished and cold, and don't dispose of them in a flammable container," said Acting Station Officer Shirley Berger.

There was no one home at the time of the fire.



Tasmania Fire Service

Portable Gas Cooker Cause of Fire

Upon investigation into the cause of the house fire at Vermont Court Berriedale, it was determined that a 2 burner gas cooktop and an 8.5KG gas cylinder were being used on top of the kitchen bench. A faulty hose connection at the back of a portable cooktop caused a gas leak which started the fire.

The resident received non-life threatening burns to the face and hands while trying to turn off the gas cylinder.

It is very important that non-approved portable gas appliances are not used inside residential properties, they must be fixed appliances with the gas cylinders external to the building at all times.

Date: 8 Sep 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Senior Station Officer Peter Tavasz Phone: (03) 6230 8424



Tasmania Fire Service

Structure Fire - Vermont Court, Berridale

Date: 7 Sep 2018 - 00:00 Contact: SO Mark McCarthy Phone: (03) 6230 8424

On Friday night at 8:09pm, the Tasmania Fire Service received a number of triple zero calls reporting fire and explosions coming from a house in Vermont Court. Four TFS crews responded and arrived to find flames issuing from the top level of the house.

Fire crews managed to contain the fire to the top level of the house. One occupant was treated by Ambulance and transported to the Royal Hobart Hospital with burns.

An investigation will be conducted in the morning in conjunction with Police.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire at City Automotive, Mornington

Date: 6 Sep 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Senior Station Officer Michael Netherton Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Hobart fire brigade responded last night to multiple fires involving cars and containers on fire at City Automotive, Cambridge Road.

Three crews were alerted to the fire at 11pm. "When we arrived we found a number of cars and shipping containers on fire" said Acting Station Officer Warren Frey. "The fires took some time to control due to difficulty in accessing water".

The cause of these fires will be investigated today.



Tasmania Fire Service

Converted bus destroyed in overnight fire

Date: 30 Aug 2018 - 00:00

Fire has destroyed a bus which was being used as a residence on a property in Browns Road Ranelagh last night.

The fire started when a small gas powered heater was knocked over and ignited the contents of the bus.

The only occupant, a man in his 60s, was awake at the time of the fire and after escaping the bus, sought help from people on a neighbouring property to alert emergency services. He was transported by ambulance to the Royal Hobart Hospital with burns to his face and hands.

"The man is very lucky to have escaped in time to receive medical treatment," said Station Officer Adam Doran.

"Heaters must not be within two metres of anything flammable and should be turned off in sleeping areas before you go to sleep - particularly in a confined space.

"Heaters are also available with cut-off switches which activate if heaters are knocked over, switching the appliance off to reduce fire risk.

"The TFS also recommends that all sleeping areas are fitted with a working smoke alarm. In this instance, the man was awake when the fire started and was able to escape,"

The Tasmania Fire Service recommends that 10-year lithium battery photoelectric smoke alarms are installed in all sleeping areas, including in caravans, boats and campervans.



Tasmania Fire Service

Smoke causes evacuation of Coles supermarket Devonport

Date: 30 Aug 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Tasmania Fire Service received a triple zero call to smoke in Coles Supermarket Best St Devonport just before 10:00am this morning. Fast action by staff ensured the building was evacuated prior to the arrival of crews from Devonport and Latrobe fire brigades.

Firefighters found a strong smell of smoke at the rear of the store. The source of what caused the smoke was found within 10 minutes. A pet food fridge had suffered an electrical fault which caused the strong smell of smoke.

"It was pleasing to see how quickly the stores staff reacted to the smoke and moved customers out of harm's way" said Senior Station Officer, Gary Johnson

Damage, estimated at about $1500, was confined to the Pet Fridge.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fridge fire at a Devonport supermarket

Date: 30 Aug 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A fire in a petfood fridge has led to an evacuation of the Coles Supermarket in Best Street, Devonport.

Crews from Devonport and Latrobe were alerted to the incident at 10 am today.

When they arrived they found that the store had been safely evacuated. Investigations discovered that a small fire had started in the back of a display fridge.

No one was injured and the cause of the fire was accidental.



Tasmania Fire Service

Appointment of TFS Deputy Chief Officer

Date: 21 Aug 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2973

Bruce Byatt AFSM has been appointed as Deputy Chief Officer of the Tasmania Fire Service.

Chief Officer Chris Arnol said Mr Byatt has a strong 40 year history in the firefighting industry.

"He comes to us from Victoria where he was the CFA's Deputy Chief Officer - Readiness and Response.

"He brings with him a wealth of leadership experience from senior positions at Fire and Rescue Services across the country with similar structures as TFS.

"He joins our leadership team during a period of significant change for our organisation with the review of the Fire Service Act, the integration of TFS and SES, and many significant internal projects.

"His skills and experience will be an invaluable asset," Mr Arnol said.

Mr Byatt said it was an honour and privilege to be selected for the Deputy Chief Officer role.

"Having moved around in recent years, I can say that TFS is known as a quality firefighting organisation and I am very excited to be living in Tasmania and part of this team," Mr Byatt said.

In addition to his most recent role with CFA, Mr Byatt's previous rank and roles include:

Deputy Chief Fire Officer - Assistant Director Operations (NTFRS)
Assistant Chief Fire Officer - Assistant Director Development and Strategy (NTFRS)
Chief Superintendent - Director of Training and Emergency Management (QFRS)
Chief Superintendent - Director Regional Operations (QFRS)
Superintendent - Manager Strategic Development (QFRS)
Interim Director - Queensland Combined Emergency Services Academy



Tasmania Fire Service

Quick action by staff help save a Claremont shop

Date: 21 Aug 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Quick action by staff members has helped a business in Claremont avoid serious damage from a fire last night.

Tasmania Fire Service were called to a deep fryer on fire at the Chicken Barn at Claremont Village shopping complex at 7:40pm last night, crews from Glenorchy, Bridgewater and Claremont brigades arrived to find the premise full of smoke and a small fire in the deep fryer.

Tasmania Fire Service has commended the quick actions of staff.

"Before our arrival, staff members at the shop used fire blankets to all but extinguish the fire. The staff also moved themselves and patrons out of harms way by quickly evacuating the shop" Station Officer Andrew Emery said.

The fire was quickly extinguished by firefighters. Damage was limited to the fryer.

"The TFS recommends that all kitchens should have suitable portable firefighting equipment such as a fire blanket or a dry powder extinguisher in case of fire.

Having this equipment nearby allowed the staff to limit the damage caused by the fire." Mr. Emery said.

The cause of the fire was accidental.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire severely damages the Colebrook shop

Date: 8 Aug 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

Fire severely damages the Colebrook Shop

Last night at around 6.30pm the TFS was alerted to a fire at the Colebrook Shop in Colebrook Rd, Colebrook.

Crews from Colebrook, Campania and Richmond responded. On arrival they found the shop filled with smoke and fire in the roof of the building.

Firefighters quickly put out the blaze but not before the shop had sustained significant damage. There were no reports of injuries.

Regional Fire Investigator, Matt Lowe has deemed the fire accidental. 'The fire began in the freezer part of a fridge freezer. It appears there was an electrical fault in the freezer door control panel.'

Damage is estimated at $350,000



Tasmania Fire Service

Pilgrim Coffee fire deemed accidental

Date: 7 Aug 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Acting Station Officer, Darren Gye Phone: (03) 6230 8424

The cause of a fire that damaged a Hobart coffee shop has been determined as accidental.

Fire crews were alerted to the fire at Pilgrim Coffee in Argyle Street, Hobart at 10.50 pm last night.

Firefighters evacuated 20 people from accommodation above the shop.

'Working smoke alarms have alerted the residents and given them valuable time to escape the fire.' said Regional Fire Investigator, Matt Lowe.

The TFS recommends that smoke alarms should be placed in sleeping areas, hallways and living areas.

'The fire which was caused by a mechanical or electrical fault in an under bench fridge was accidental.' said Mr Lowe

Damage is estimated at $500,000



Tasmania Fire Service

On Monday night at 10:51 PM a number of 000 calls were received to a report of smoke coming from the windows from Pilgrim Coffee at 48 Argyle Street, Hobart.
TFS crews responded and on arrival found black smoke coming from a two story building.

Crews quickly located a number of people above Pilgrim Coffee which was being used for accommodation.

Twenty people were evacuated from the 2nd story above the Coffee Shop.

Ambulance Tasmania attended and checked those that may have been effected by smoke inhalation.

There has been significant fire and smoke damage to Pilgrim Coffee and to the accommodation areas above the shop. The main fire has been contained to Pilgrim Coffee, with some surrounding businesses sustaining smoke damage.

TasNetworks have isolated power to the building. The cause of the fire is currently undetermined and further investigation will commence at first light.



Tasmania Fire Service

House fire overnight - Carnegie Street Claremont

Date: 12 Jul 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Leading Firefighter Matthew Pope Phone: (03) 6230 8424

A three bedroom house on Carnegie Street Claremont was significantly damaged by fire last night when a pot was left on a stove.

TFS crews arrived at 6:50pm last night to find the house well alight and focussed a search for residents of the house who neighbours believed had gone back in to retrieve their personal belongings. Thankfully the occupants were located safe in a neighbour's house down the street.

The two occupants, a man in his 70s and a lady in her 60s, were alerted to the fire by a working smoke alarm located in the hallway. They were both treated on scene for minor smoke inhalation and transported to the Royal Hobart Hospital by Ambulance Tasmania.

Firefighters remained on scene overnight conducting a fire watch.

Fire Investigator Leading Firefighter Matthew Pope was on scene this morning and determined the fire cause.

"Thankfully the residents of this house had a working smoke alarm which alerted them to a fire which had started in the kitchen by a pot was left on the stove. The message for homeowners is to ensure you turn off the stove before you turn away, and never leave items on a stovetop.

"The residents went back into the home several times before the brigade's arrival to retrieve personal belongings. No belongings are worth risking your life for- in a house fire you must evacuate immediately and do not be tempted to risk your life and go back inside," said Mr Pope.



Tasmania Fire Service

Tasmania's firefighters recommending a smoke alarm in every bedroom

Date: 4 Jul 2018 - 00:00 Contact: Emma McGrath (media@dpfem.tas.gov.au) Phone: (03) 6173 2973

With winter upon us and the rate of house fires increasing as it gets colder, Tasmania Fire Service firefighters are urging people to ensure they have a smoke alarm installed in every sleeping area.

Nine fire trucks based at career fire stations around the state have become mobile billboards for lifesaving home fire safety messages. The billboards display:

Install a smoke alarm in every bedroom
Protect those you love
Working smoke alarms save lives

Most fatal house fires occur at night when people are sleeping and the absence of smoke alarms can increase the possibility of a house fire resulting in a fatality by 60%.

TFS recommends 10 year lithium battery photoelectric smoke alarms.

"Of the 100 house fires TFS crews have responded to since March this year, almost 80% of those were caused accidentally. We can't prevent all fires, so we need the community to give themselves the best chance of surviving a house fire by ensuring they have adequate smoke alarms in their home," said TFS Director Community Fire Safety Sandy Whight.

"Working smoke alarms can mean the difference between you and your family surviving a house fire or not.

"You can't smell smoke when you are asleep so your best chance of surviving a house fire is to rely on your other senses to wake you. If a fire starts in the bedroom it will be too late if the closest smoke alarm is in the hallway.

"The more smoke alarms you have in a house the quicker you will be alerted to a fire to allow the safe evacuation for you and your family to your one safe meeting place outside.

Help yourself, your family and Tasmania's emergency services by installing 10-year lithium battery photoelectric smoke alarms in every bedroom, hallway, living area and the top of stairs.

Tips for staying safe in your home this winter:

Ensure your family has a current and practised home fire escape plan
Inspect and clean your chimney flue annually by a qualified professional
Keep flammable items such as clothing on airers at least two metres from the heater
Ensure the lint filter in your clothes dryer is clean prior to each use
Run the clothes dryer through to the end of the cooling cycle

For more information about home fire safety visit www.fire.tas.gov.au