Total fire ban for much of Tasmania on Friday with high temperatures, hot winds forecast
The combination of high temperatures and windy conditions have authorities nervous. (ABC News: Laura Beavis)
A total fire ban will be in place for most of Tasmania from early Friday morning, with hot windy conditions tipped and temperatures nearing 40 degrees Celsius in some parts.
- A Total Fire Ban will be in place across the eastern half of Tasmania on Friday, with permits required elsewhere
- Temperatures are predicted to reach the high-30s, with northerly winds forecast
- Friday is the sixth anniversary of the Dunalley bushfire, which destroyed hundreds of homes and properties
A Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecast of a state maximum of 39C — combined with hot, dry northerly winds — has the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) on high alert.
The BOM’s Alex Melitsis said the temperatures were unusually high for Tasmania.
“We rarely see temperatures approaching 40 degrees in Tasmania,” he said.
Mr Melitsis said a cool change could follow Friday’s temperature spike, with possible thunderstorms moving in later.
“One saving grace should be that the thunderstorm will occur after the worst fire conditions have occurred,” he said.
“We’ll see the highest temperatures peak at 2:00pm and then we’ll see a dramatic drop in temperatures of around 10 degrees.
“There may be a thunderstorm or two after that hot or energetic day — we may see some afternoon thunderstorms in parts of the east and south-east.”
Emergency services are bracing themselves for extreme temperatures around Tasmania on Friday. (ABC News: James Dunlevie)
The TFS has moved into a heightened state of readiness, mobilising firefighting strike teams and aircraft and pre-formed incident management teams, and placing extra firefighting resources on standby.
They urged the public to heed the total fire ban and report any fires immediately by calling triple zero, saying immediate reporting increased the likelihood a fire could be contained quickly.
Under the ban all outdoor fires, incinerators, burn-offs, campfires, fire pots and wood fuelled barbecues are prohibited.
The ban covers Meander Valley, Tamar Valley, Break O’Day, Northern Midlands, George Town, Dorset, Launceston in the north.
In the south, Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan-Spring Bay, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman are under the ban.
Waterbombing aircraft had to be used at a Christmas Eve fire on Bruny Island. (ABC News: David Hudspeth)
The south-east, Upper Derwent Valley, and east coast may see temperatures over 30C and wind gusts of up to 40 kilometres per hour, which could see any fire become difficult to control.
The TFS advised members of the public to review their action plans in the event of fire threatening their area, by visiting the TFS website and checking the Community Bushfire Protection Plans.
Premier Will Hodgman urged the public to be vigilant and warned of the serious consequences for committing arson.
Friday marks the sixth anniversary of the Dunalley bushfires of 2013, in which hundreds of homes and properties were destroyed and incredible tales of survival arising from the disaster.