Australia — TODAY marks the beginning of the bushfire danger season in Tasmania — with temperatures forecast to soar.
The mercury is tipped to go over 30C in the South today, prompting the Tasmania Fire Service to declare the season’s first total fire ban.
Hobart is forecast to reach 32C, while Campania and Richmond can expect 33C.
How will you be taking advantage of the hot weather today? Hitting the beach or cranking the AC in the office?
Yesterday was also a hot one, with Hobart recording a maximum of 30C — 11 degrees above the November average.
The state’s top temperatures yesterday were recorded in Ouse, 32.6C, and Strahan, 32.5C.
TFS chief officer Mike Brown urged everyone living in and around bushland to review their bushfire plans.
He said today’s fire ban was in response to the high temperatures and dry conditions.
“The vegetation across the state has dried out measurably despite recent scattered light rain,” he said.
He said today’s high temperatures meant fires could “develop in size very quickly and be difficult to control”.
“There are a number of fires across the state that have been difficult to control and extinguish,” Mr Brown said.
Last night fire crews were at six vegetation fires across the state, the largest burning out of control around Poatina Rd, Central Plateau.
Southern Water has also introduced water restrictions today in response to the dangerous conditions.
People should avoid all non-essential water use to leave enough for fire fighting.
Weather bureau senior forecaster Malcolm Downing said it was the first “very high danger” rating for the fire season.
Mr Downing said there had been little rain over the past two weeks, which had significantly dried out vegetation.
He said tomorrow should be cooler, with temperatures forecast to be in the low 20s.
Today’s total fire ban means that no fires can be started out of doors in the southern region, which includes the municipalities of Brighton, Central Highlands, Clarence, Derwent Valley, Glamorgan/Spring Bay, Glenorchy, Hobart, Huon Valley, Kingborough, Sorell, Southern Midlands and Tasman.
The ban started at midnight last night and remains in place until midnight tonight.
Mr Brown said today’s fire ban also meant people could not use cutting, welding or other similar equipment in the open.
“Although the use of agricultural machinery, for the purpose of harvesting crops or slashing grass, is not included in this ban operators are requested to take particular care when using this type of machinery,” he said.
Fires should be reported by dialling 000. TOTAL FIRE BAN RULES No fires may be lit or be allowed to remain alight in the open air until midnight tonight. Tools and equipment that use a naked flame or generate sparks must not be used in the open air. Barbecues that use wood, charcoal or solid fuel banned. Gas and electric barbecues are permitted if the barbecue is a fixed permanent structure.
Avoid all non-essential water use to ensure enough water is available for fire fighting. Turn off all sprinkler systems, including automatic systems. Use hoses sparingly. Where possible, restrict hose use to fire prevention or mitigation. Use a bucket if it is necessary to water plants, clean windows. The failure was in the forest areas.Advertisement
Following a 10-year strategy, ACT fire managers have created a mosaic across the landscape of different fuel levels, burning at every opportunity.
But forests have been too wet to burn this spring and the past two summers.
A network of 500 fire trails and strategic burns along the north-west urban edge, heavy grazing and extra grass slashing will create a fortress for the territory which forecasters say faces a higher than average risk this summer.
After a fire-fuelled tornado in January 2003 killed four Canberrans and frightened thousands more, CSIRO fire expert Phil Cheney told the subsequent inquiry the fire’s penetration into urban areas under extreme conditions did not reflect a failure of fuel management on the urban interface.