Heat and wind to heighten Tasmania bushfire threat


Worsening conditions across Tasmania could lead to an increase in dangerous bushfires threatening lives and homes, authorities say.

Forecast high temperatures and windy conditions are expected to add to the dozens of fires already burning across Tasmania.

Some 55,0000 hectares of wilderness and bushland across the state has been ravaged by scores of fires, at least one of which has been burning since late December.

With conditions across the state forecast to worsen on Friday, authorities are warning there is an increasing threat to property and life.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting temperatures of up to the high-30s on Friday, together with dry thunderstorms.

"Strong and gusty northwesterly winds are expected to develop on Friday which, combined with the hot temperatures, will see very high to severe fire dangers develop about southern, central and eastern parts of Tasmania," the bureau said in a statement.

State Fire Controller Bruce Byatt said people must be physically and mentally prepared if they choose to defend their homes against the fires.

"It is not a simple task and you need to consider it very carefully," he said.

A large bushfire burning in Tasmania.
Some 55,0000 hectares of bushland across Tasmania has been ravaged by dozens of fires.

One house has been lost and almost 50 fires continue to burn, many in central parts of the state and some prompting repeated emergency warnings for nearby residents of townships including Miena, Barren Tier, Tods Corner, Penstock Lagoon, Liawenee and Shannon.

A major fire still burns near Gell River, northwest of Hobart, scorching more than 20,000 hectares of wilderness since it started on December 28. Another blaze burns near Lake Fergus in the state's centre.

A total fire ban is in place for all of Tasmania, starting Thursday until Monday.

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