Bushfire ravaging Tasmanian rainforest

Bushfire ravaging Tasmanian rainforest

17 March 2008

published by http://news.smh.com.au

Australia — Australia’s largest temperate rainforest is under threat, with bushfires ravaging the Tarkine region in Tasmania’s north-west.

Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) incident controller Chris Arthur said the fire was burning in the Tarkine rainforest, bordering the Donaldson River and the Toner River.

“It is extreme conditions to actually fight the fire,” Mr Arthur said.

“It is very active and uncontained.”

The TFS has sent out key resources to help fight the blaze.

“We’ve got three helicopters, 30 people and a whole lot of other equipment,” Mr Arthur said.

Firefighters are facing tough conditions, with no change in the weather expected for the next 24 hours.

Mr Arthur said the temperature had reached 32 degrees Celsius, with firefighters having to also contend with changing winds.

Dr Phil Pullinger, president of the Tarkine National Coalition, said the fire had already destroyed 1,900 hectares, and was still burning fiercely.

He said it started from a vehicle in the Road to Nowhere area.

“It is an area of recognised world heritage significance,” Dr Pullinger said.

“The Tarkine is home to more than 60 rare, threatened species.

“So it is a really important area for wildlife and … we’re very worried about what this fire might do.”

The Tarkine Rainforest was protected in a conservation reserve by the federal and Tasmanian governments in 2005, because of its outstanding value as Australia’s largest temperature rainforest.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien