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Media Releases

1. Tasmania Fire Service members recognised in Australia Day Honours 2022 Release Date: 2022-01-26
2. Tullah Bushfire Update Release Date: 2022-01-23
3. Tullah Bushfire - Images Release Date: 2022-01-23
4. Tullah Bushfire Interview Opportunity - time change to 2pm today Release Date: 2022-01-23
5. Tullah Bushfire Update and Interview Opportunity Release Date: 2022-01-23
6. Tullah Bushfire Update Release Date: 2022-01-22
7. Structure Fire - Bass Highway Elizabeth Town Release Date: 2022-01-19
8. Huonville fatal fire determined to be accidental Release Date: 2022-01-17
9. New heavy pumper to be added to Launceston Fire Brigade fleet Release Date: 2022-01-11
10. Switchboard Fire - Holman Clinic LGH Release Date: 2022-01-07
11. Tasmania ready to battle from above this bushfire season Release Date: 2022-01-06
12. Volunteer stood down Release Date: 2021-12-31
13. Total Fire Ban declared from 2am on Friday 31 December 2021 to 2am on Sunday 2 January 2022 Release Date: 2021-12-30
14. State-wide Fire Permit Declaration Release Date: 2021-12-30


Tasmania Fire Service

Tasmania Fire Service members recognised in Australia Day Honours 2022

Date: 26 Jan 2022 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media & Comms Phone: 6173 2424 Email: media@dpfem.tas.gov.au

Australia Day Honours will be awarded to three members of Tasmania Fire Service today.

The Australian Fire Service Medal, which recognises distinguished service by members (paid and volunteer) of Australian fire services, will be presented to:
Matthew Buck
Graeme Jones
Ian Sauer.

Congratulating the trio on their achievement, Chief Officer Dermot Barry said:

"On behalf of Tasmania Fire Service, I congratulate Matthew Buck, Graeme Jones, and Ian Sauer as they are recognised in the Australia Day Honours today."

Matthew Buck commenced volunteering for the Tasmania Fire Service in 1995, when he was employed as a Sergeant with Tasmania Police. Matthew has proven experience supporting the community in a broad cross section of circumstances and has a meritorious commitment to many TFS affiliated charities.

Ian Sauer is a long-serving and dedicated volunteer of the Pipers Brook Brigade, and the current Chair of the State Fire Management Council. Ian has a wealth of knowledge and experience in relation to vegetation fire management in Tasmania.

Graeme Jones is a long-standing volunteer member of Tasmania Fire Service and was one of the founding members of the Ridgley Fire Brigade. Graeme is a well-respected stalwart with a passion for developing other firefighters and the Junior and Cadet Programs.

"Collectively, today I thank Matthew, Graeme and Ian for their distinguished service to the Tasmania Fire Service," said Chief Officer Barry.

"The long-term volunteering history demonstrated by each is a proven example of their selfless ongoing support of our community.

"Their tireless dedication and commitment make each of them invaluable members of our fire service, and very worthy recipients of the Australian Fire Service Medal today."

__________________

Matthew Buck

Matthew Buck joined as a TFS volunteer at George Town Brigade in 1995, when he was employed as a Sergeant for Tasmania Police.

Matthew has held various positions, including:

In 1999 he was elected Fourth Officer; he was instrumental in coordinating evolutionary interagency exercises and simulated training within the Dalrymple Group.
In 2000 he transferred to Prospect Brigade; he was instrumental in developing and influencing newer members and promoting training for the Prospect Brigade members.
In 2003 he was elected as Brigade Officer; he made positive improvements to the culture within Prospect Brigade.
During this time Matthew demonstrated his commitment to the wider community, playing an instrumental part in a fundraiser for the Boxing Day Tsunami disaster, raising over $5,000 in a weekend. Further, he was a founding member of the Appin Hall Children's Foundation / Prospect Brigade working partnership. His community engagement went on for many years within the brigade, with the coordination of many community events.
In 2010, in partnership with three other emergency service officers, Matthew devoted approximately 18 months to fundraise and promote the charity Operation Rescue Assist East Timer and in 2011 he spent 8 days in East Timer training the Timorese Fire Brigade in RCR patient extraction and scene management.
In 2011, Matthew was appointed First Officer; for over a decade he consistently provided leadership and direction to a very busy retained brigade.
Matthew has participated in multiple task forces, including deployments to Victoria in 2006, Black Saturday 2009, and Task Force Leader for the CFA in the NW fires in 2020.
Matthew has been a figurehead for mental health. Around 10 years ago he researched and formed a chapter in Launceston of the International firefighter motorcycle club 'Red Knights', of which he is President. The club aims to improve welfare and camaraderie amongst fire fighters and raise money for charities.

______________________

Graeme Jones

Graeme Jones commenced with the Tasmania Fire Service as one of the founding members of the Ridgley Fire Brigade in 1978. In 1991 he was appointed as 2nd Officer - a position he held for six years.

Graeme has held various positions during his career, and makes a valuable contribution to many initiatives, including:

Current Fire Permit Officer
Member of the Tasmania Volunteer Association from 2003-2016, including a period as a member of the State Council for several years.
North-West representative in the development of the Statewide Junior and Cadet Program in 2012, instrumental in establishing the program.
Long serving committee member of the North-West Family Fun Day which is now entering its 50th year - committed to the Junior and Cadet Program
Long standing member of the TFS Museum Society - with a passion for restoring decommissioned TFS vehicle.
Member of the newly formed North-West Regional Logistics Support Brigade - instrumental in helping this Brigade to become operational.

______________________

Ian Sauer

Ian Sauer is a long-serving volunteer of Tasmania Fire Service. He is a current Fire Permit Officer and active member of the Pipers Brook Brigade. He has previously held various positions including Brigade Chief, Firefighter and 4th Officer.

Ian has been the Chair of the State Fire Management Council since 2014, and makes a committed and dedicated contribution to many whole-of-Government initiatives, including:
Nation leading Fuel Reduction Program, aimed at reducing bushfire risk across Tasmania. Ian has been a member of the Fuel Reduction Program Steering Committee since inception.
Successful Red Hot Tips program, aimed at helping farmers and rural landholders actively manage their bushfire risk and build capacity in planned burning. Ian holds the position of Chair of the Red Hot Tips Advisory Group.
Steering Committee Member for the review the Fire Permit System in Tasmania.
Facilitating collection of input into reviews including the Fire Service Act Review, Fire Permit Review, and Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.

Ian has previously received the National Medal 2000, National Medal Clasp 25 years 2009, TFS Volunteer Medal 2010.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Tullah Bushfire Update

Date: 23 Jan 2022 - 12:00am Contact: Public Information Officer North West Phone: 1800 000 699 Email: fire@fire.tas.gov.au

Fire crews from Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service remain onsite at the bushfire burning at Tullah on the state's west coast which was first reported just before 5pm yesterday.

An Advice message is current for MacKintosh Dam Road and the surrounding area, as well as the township of Tullah. The current size of the fire is 98 hectares.

The fire is currently being controlled but is yet to be contained with several areas of peat actively burning. Active firefighting by vehicle based and remote area fire fighters has continued throughout the day.

Ground crews and aircraft support have been working on extinguishing hotspots around the township of Tullah, active fire on Mt Farrell, protecting telecommunications infrastructure as well as working on establishing containment lines around the fire ground.

Ground crews will be patrolling the fire ground overnight and responding to any fire activity around the north of the township and MacKintosh Dam Road area.

Aircraft support will cease around 7pm this evening as they do not operate overnight and will continue supporting ground crews tomorrow.

Weather conditions may cause an increase in fire activity this afternoon and into the evening with a potential for further fire runs to the east of the township of Tullah.

While there is no threat to the township of Tullah at this time, that could change and anyone in the area must remain vigilant and monitor TFS warnings.

There remains active fire on both sides of the Murchison Highway in the vicinity of MacKintosh Dam Road.

Impact assessments are currently being conducted to determine the extent of impact on properties.

The Murchison Highway is currently open to traffic with a reduced speed limit of 40km/hr in some areas.

People in the area are asked to remain vigilant monitor the Tasmania Fire Service website www.fire.tas.gov.au and ABC Local Radio for the most up to date warnings and information.

People who do not need to be in the Tullah area should stay away.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Tullah Bushfire - Images

Date: 23 Jan 2022 - 12:00am Contact: Public Information Officer North West Phone: 1800 000 699 Email: fire@fire.tas.gov.au

See link to dropbox with images taken at the Tullah bushfire on Saturday 21 January 2022.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/g0fjva675t9uejm/AAA4p_hEvaqaZHx_9fLD1UgKa?dl=0

A media release will be provided later today.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Tullah Bushfire Interview Opportunity - time change to 2pm today

Date: 23 Jan 2022 - 12:00am Contact: Public Information Officer North West Phone: 1800 000 699 Email: fire@fire.tas.gov.au

Following requests from media outlets, the time has changed for today's interview opportunity.

  • Tasmania Fire Service will now provide an update on the Tullah Bushfire at an interview opportunity at 2pm today in Burnie.
  • Regional Fire Controller Dean Graue, will be available for media interview today at 2pm, at Burnie TFS Headquarters, 15 Three Mile Line Road, Burnie.


Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Tullah Bushfire Update and Interview Opportunity

Date: 23 Jan 2022 - 12:00am Contact: North West Public Information Officer Phone: 1800 000 699 Email: fire@fire.tas.gov.au

Fire crews from Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service are currently responding to a bushfire burning at Tullah on the state's west coast which was first reported just before 5pm yesterday.

An Advice message is current for MacKintosh Dam Road and the surrounding area, as well as the township of Tullah.

Ground crews have remained in the area overnight and along with aircraft support, active firefighting will continue throughout today with weather conditions expected to cause an increase in fire activity this afternoon.

While there is no threat to the township of Tullah at this time, that could change and anyone in the area must remain vigilant and monitor TFS warnings.

There remains active fire on both sides of the Murchison Highway in the vicinity of MacKintosh Dam Road. Crews are working on hotspots around the township of Tullah, and active fire on Mt Farrell and protecting telecommunications infrastructure.

When conditions ease impact assessments will be conducted, possibly later today, to determine the extent of impact on properties overnight.

The Murchison Highway is currently open to traffic with a reduced speed limit of 40km/hr in some areas.

People in the area are asked to remain vigilant monitor the Tasmania Fire Service website www.fire.tas.gov.au and ABC Local Radio for the most up to date warnings and information.

People who do not need to be in the Tullah area should stay away.

Media please note, for planning purposes:

Tasmania Fire Service will provide an update on the Tullah Bushfire at an interview opportunity at 1pm today in Burnie.

Regional Fire Controller Dean Graue, will be available for media interview today at 1pm, at Burnie TFS Headquarters, 15 Three Mile Line Road, Burnie.



Sustainable Timber Tasmania Tasmania Fire Service Tasmania Parks

Tullah Bushfire Update

Date: 22 Jan 2022 - 12:00am Contact: FireComm Phone: 1800 000 699 Email: fire@fire.tas.gov.au

Fire crews from Tasmania Fire Service and Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service are currently responding to a bushfire burning at Tullah on the state's west coast which was first reported just before 5pm today. An emergency warning is current for MacKintosh Dam Road and the surrounding area, and a Watch and Act is current for the township of Tullah.

Ground crews and aircraft have been actively fighting the fire during daylight hours. Aircraft will return in the morning and ground crews will remain in the area overnight.

There is active fire both sides of the Murchison Highway in the vicinity of MacKintosh Dam Road. Fire crews in the area are actively protecting assets including houses and power infrastructure.

A number of people who were camping in the MacKintosh Dam camping area have been evacuated.

Impact assessments will be conducted when conditions ease to determine whether any properties have been impacted or lost. The fire is not under control however conditions are expected to moderate into the evening.

People in the area are asked to remain vigilant monitor the Tasmania Fire Service website www.fire.tas.gov.au and ABC Local Radio for the most up to date warnings and information. People who do not need to be in the Tullah area should stay away.



Tasmania Fire Service

Structure Fire - Bass Highway Elizabeth Town

Date: 19 Jan 2022 - 00:00 Contact: Tasmania Fire Service Phone: 1800 000 699 Email: fire@fire.tas.gov.au

Multiple TFS crews are currently attending a structure fire at Bass Highway, Elizabeth Town. On arrival the crews found the house to be fully involved in fire and are working to stop it also spreading to near by bushes.

Further information will be provided when available.



Tasmania Fire Service

Huonville fatal fire determined to be accidental

Date: 17 Jan 2022 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media & Comms Phone: 6173 2424 Email: media@dpfem.tas.gov.au

Tasmania Fire Service investigators have determined the fire which resulted in the death of a person at Huonville on Friday was accidental, and there are no suspicious circumstances.

Tasmania Fire Service, Regional Fire Investigator, Tim McKay, said:

"After an extensive examination of the scene of Friday's fatal fire, and investigations into all the circumstances surrounding this tragic event, I have determined this fire was accidental, and mostly likely caused by discarded smoking materials coming into contact with upholstered furniture.

"The remains of smoke alarms were located within the house; however, it is unclear at this stage whether or not they were functional at the time of the fire. Further examination of those smoke alarms will hopefully tell us more about whether they were working at the time. What we do know however, is that having fully operational smoke alarms installed in your home provides the best chance of early detection of fire and significantly increases your chances of survival in the event of a fire.

"I remind people of the dangers of improper disposal of smoking materials and the tragic consequences that can result.

"Having clear passage to exits and a home fire escape plan greatly increase your chances of survival in the event of a house fire.

"I'd like to commend the efforts of the local Volunteer Fire Brigade who attended Friday's tragic fire. This was a challenging and confronting incident for them and their efforts are to be commended.

"The Tasmania Fire Service offers our sincerest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of the deceased and acknowledge that this must be a very difficult time for them."



Tasmania Fire Service

New heavy pumper to be added to Launceston Fire Brigade fleet

Date: 11 Jan 2022 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media & Comms Phone: 6173 2424 Email: media@dpfem.tas.gov.au

Tasmania Fire Service is adding another new urban heavy pumper to the truck fleet of Launceston Fire Brigade.

"The fourth of five new urban heavy pumpers will soon be rolled out, under the State Fire Commission funded heavy pumper replacement program," said Chief Officer Dermot Barry.

"This new pumper will be a welcome addition to the TFS fleet, stationed at Launceston Fire Brigade."

Designed by Tasmanian career firefighters, the new truck is one of the most technologically advanced in Australia, capable of delivering 4,000 litres of water a minute when at capacity.

Equipped with a compressed air foam system, the truck is designed for response at an array of incidents including structure fires, asset protection and difficult to extinguish industrial fires.

"Designed to replace the existing ageing fleet in career fire stations, these new trucks are equipped with state-of-the-art safety features to keep our firefighters safe while they assist and protect the community," said Chief Officer Barry.

"The fifth and final truck in the replacement program is planned for rollout to Hobart in late 2022."

The trucks are powered by a diesel engine with the cleanest emissions technology in the world for this class of vehicle. Other features include a 'low tone siren' which causes vibrations as well as sound, battery operated road crash rescue equipment, four x 150 watt mast lights for enhanced crew and public safety, a touch screen computerised pump control panel, and advanced driver safety features.



Tasmania Fire Service

Switchboard Fire - Holman Clinic LGH

Date: 7 Jan 2022 - 00:00 Contact: Station Officer Paul Catterall Phone: 1800 000 699 Email: fire@fire.tas.gov.au

Fire crews from Launceston arrived to find smoke issuing from a switchboard at the Holman Clinic plant room, Launceston General Hospital. Dry chemical extinguishers were used due to sensitive equipment located below the plant room. Crews from Rocherlea assisted with fire fighting operations. LGH electricians with assistance from crew from Tas Networks were able to isolate power to the switchboard and the uninterruptible power supply (UPS).

Fire crews utilising breathing apparatus undertook a number of atmospheric monitoring tasks due to build up of gases from the switchboard and UPS fire. Investigation completed. Cause of fire was due to an electrical component failure. Estimated damage $350,000



Tasmania Fire Service

Tasmania ready to battle from above this bushfire season

Date: 6 Jan 2022 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media and Communications Phone: 6173 2424 Email: media@dpfem.tas.gov.au

Tasmania's firefighting agencies have launched their summer aviation fleet today, with 12 specialised aircraft on hand to help fight fires from above.

Each year, with support from the Australian Government, the National Aerial Firefighting Centre coordinates the leasing of a national fleet of firefighting aircraft to all states and territories.

Tasmania's fleet of 12 includes a mix of firebombing and air supervision and aerial intelligence gathering aircraft. Eight are helicopters and four are fixed wing planes.

2 x "Air Tractor" AT-802F
2 x "Fireboss" is the AT-802F, equipped with amphibious floats
4 x "Bell" 214B helicopters
2 x "Twin Squirrel" AS355-F1 helicopters
1 x FB 700 Special Intelligence Gathering helicopter
1x "HeliTreck" BK117

Tasmania Fire Service Chief Officer Dermot Barry said aerial firefighting is a key part of the state's bushfire response capability.

"We had success with this during the Sisters Beach fire in December, hitting the area hard and fast, and this will continue to be our strategy going forward," he said.

"We also have access to up to 20 locally-owned planes and helicopters if required, meaning there are up to 32 firefighting aircraft available in the state this summer."

"We're confident in our capacity and capability to respond to bushfires this season, but we need members of the community to play their part too.

"Even the most sophisticated firefighting resources doesn't diminish the individual responsibilities we all have, especially when visiting or living in bushfire prone areas."

"Property owners need to clean up around their properties and make sure they have a well thought out bushfire survival plan."

For more information about planning for bushfires, visit www.fire.tas.gov.au



Tasmania Fire Service

Volunteer stood down

Date: 31 Dec 2021 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media and Communications Phone: 1800 000 699 Email: fire@fire.tas.gov.au

Tasmania Fire Service has suspended a volunteer firefighter from duty after he was yesterday charged with unlawfully setting fire to vegetation by Tasmania Police.

The charges relate to six fire incidents on Flinders Island in the past two years. The man is a volunteer member of the Flinders Island Volunteer Fire Brigade. Given the severity of the charges he will be suspended from duty pending the outcome of the court process.

We appreciate this is a difficult and disappointing time for the Flinders Island community, the dedicated members of the Flinders Island Fire Brigade and our wider TFS community and we will provide every support possible to those affected.

TFS is an organisation of more than 5000 dedicated volunteers and employees who represent a diverse cross section of our community and are committed to protecting life and property.

It is not appropriate for us to comment further as the matter is before the courts.

Dermot Barry
Chief Officer
Tasmania Fire Service



Tasmania Fire Service

Total Fire Ban declared from 2am on Friday 31 December 2021 to 2am on Sunday 2 January 2022

Date: 30 Dec 2021 - 00:00 Contact: DPFEM Media & Comms Phone: 6173 2424 Email: media@dpfem.tas.gov.au

Tasmania Fire Service has declared a total fire ban for the whole of the state for tomorrow and Saturday.

"With hot temperatures forecast for tomorrow and Saturday which will see the fire danger rating reaching Very High, and potentially Severe in some areas, a total fire ban has been declared," said Acting Regional Chief, Northern Region, Ian Bounds.

The total fire ban will be in effect for the whole of the state, from 2am on Friday 31 December 2021 to 2am on Sunday 2 January 2022.

"From 2am tomorrow morning, no fires will be permitted in the open, including incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots, and wood-fuelled barbecues," said Acting Regional Chief Bounds.

Operators of machinery are to comply with 'Machinery Operations Guidelines - A basis for safe work in dry vegetation' (available from the TFS website under Publications/Vegetation Management). This requires shutdown of operations when certain conditions are reached. Operators not following these guidelines are required to cease operations for the duration of the Total Fire Ban.

Authorised New Year Fireworks Displays which have been certified through WorkSafe with a permit allocated are allowed to proceed. Operators are to undertake a risk assessment of the surrounding areas and ensure a Fire Plan is established.

"Over the coming days, Tasmania Fire Service will have crews and firefighting aircraft pre-positioned and prepared across the state for any fires," said Acting Regional Chief Bounds. Tasmania Police will be undertaking additional patrols to assist in compliance of the Total Fire Ban restrictions.

"People living in a bushfire prone area are urged to prepare their property, review their bushfire survival plan, and keep up-to-date on changing conditions as the warm weather progresses.

"If anyone doesn't already have a bushfire survival plan prepared, now is the time to do a '5-minute bushfire plan' - it's an easy online tool that will help you plan what to do to keep yourself and everyone in your household safe in the event of a bushfire. This is especially important if you and your family are in unfamiliar locations, for example camping or visiting friends."

Anyone who has had a campfire over recent days is to ensure it is completely extinguished prior to 2am tomorrow morning and rechecked prior to leaving the site.

"As a preventative measure, any landowner who has recently had a fire on their property is urged to check the fire area immediately to ensure it is properly extinguished before the total fire ban comes into effect."

Anyone who sees a fire in the open over the coming days is urged to report promptly to Triple Zero (000).

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 Local Radio.

***Media interview opportunity:
Acting Regional Chief, Northern Region, Ian Bounds, will be available for media interview today at 3.30pm, at Youngtown TFS Headquarters.



Tasmania Fire Service

Fire permits are now required for the Whole State of Tasmania.

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.

firepermitperioddeclaration1dec2021.pdf