LATEST NEWS

tas news 7sd pageheader 2019

Aerial firepower for Swansea blaze

fire pic 2

A bushfire sparked by lightning west of Swansea is still out of control but isn't posing an immediate threat.

The state's newly-launched air fleet of five helicopters and two planes, being based in Hobart and Launceston, has been called in.

The McNeills Road fire has now grown to more than 3800 hectares but hasn't moved any closer to homes around 1.5 kilometres away.

It's also prompted a smoke alert for Lake Leake and surrounds.

TFS Chief Chris Arnol says the weather is on their side for now.

"I do not anticipate this blaze moving any closer to Swansea," he said. 

"The difficulty will be the northern side of the fire which is difficult terrain, hilly terrain, hard to access. We've got bulldozers cutting in breaks, and we'll burn off those breaks." 

Emergency Management Minister Mark Shelton joined Chief Arnol to unveil the air fleet at the Springvale air base at Cranbrook on Wednesday. 

"The two fixed wing bombers and three rotary wing helicopters (water-bombing) along with two McDermott platform helicopters (air attack supervision/intelligence) have been contracted through the National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC) and will be managed from the new State Air Operations Unit," said the Minister.