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Total fire ban remains in place in state’s south

February 23, 2024 11:13 am in by

A total fire ban in southern Tasmania will continue until 2am on Saturday, February 24.

Tasmania Fire Service strike teams remain positioned at key locations across the state, with high fire danger ratings still in place across several districts.

TFS Deputy Chief Officer Matt Lowe said the fire risk remained high, despite easing weather conditions.

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“While temperatures have dropped and the wind has eased, high fire danger ratings remain in place across much of the state,” he said.

“Firefighting continues this morning at Brady’s Lake in the Central Highlands with 10 Sustainable Timber Tasmania, 8 Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Services and 9 TFS ground crews supported by 12 aircraft actively working to contain the fire.”

“A Watch and Act warning remains in place in the area, with TFS crews currently working in the area to protect assets.”

“Fire investigators are continuing to conduct examinations into the cause, after five fires were reported in the area on Wednesday afternoon. Two of those fires – Brady’s Lake and Snake Tier – have since been referred to Tasmania Police for investigation. The remaining three fires are still under investigation by the TFS.”

Tasmania Police Commander Jason Elmer said that police had now launched a criminal investigation into the Brady’s Lake and Snake Tier fires.

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“This is being taken extremely seriously, and we’re urging anyone with information to come forward to Police on 131444 or report to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or crimestopperstas.com.au. You can remain anonymous,” Commander Elmer said.

An evacuation centre was opened in New Norfolk overnight, with about 80 people also self-evacuating from Ouse to Gretna.

Road closures are still in place, and people are urged to avoid the area.

A community meeting with TFS representatives will be held at Ouse today, so community members can get an update on the fire situation.

“Fire crews also remain on site at Crabtree in the Huon Valley with Crabtree, Grove and surrounding areas under an Advice warning.”

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A fire at Crabtree in the Huon Valley is under patrol after being downgraded from Advice level last night.

Mr Lowe urged the community to prepare and remain vigilant for any smoke or fires.

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