Fire rage eases in Australia’s south amid cooler weather

Fire rage eases in Australia’s south amidcooler weather

15 December 2006

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Australia — Fire conditions in Australia’s southern state of Tasmania easedFriday as cooler and calmer weather conditions are expected over the weekend.

However, firefighter on Tasmania’s east coast said the fire emergency is farfrom over, Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio reported Friday.

The fire which has been burning since last weekend flared in the hot windyconditions Thursday and four houses in the coastal township of Four Mile Creekwere destroyed.

In the state’s south-east, the fire which started near Bream Creek has nowburnt out over 8,000 hectares and is not yet under control.

Fire crews are also trying to get control of a fire at Pioneer in thenorth-east.

The Fire Service’s Ken Burns said strange weather patterns are not helping.

“This fire’s like a big tiger sleeping in the bush,” he was quotedas saying.

“We haven’t got it contained by any means and north-eastern Tasmania,particularly the Fingal Valley, is subjected to some unusual weather patterns,”he added.

“A couple of days ago we had north-westerly winds in the south- easterncorner of the fire and at the same time we had south- easterly winds in thenorth-west corner of the fires,” he said.

Meanwhile, the fires in the southeastern state of Victoria claimed theirfirst victim when a man fighting a bushfire near Heyfield in Gippsland diedThursday night after he fell from the back of a trailer being towed by a ute andwas run over.

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