Australia

Worsening conditions fuel bushfires in Tasmania

A fire is still burning near Gell River, northwest of Hobart, scorching more than 20,000 hectares. (AAP)

Multiple warnings have been issued for uncontrolled bushfires across Tasmania, with residents warned the worst is yet to come as the heatwave continues.

Up to 50 blazes driven by soaring temperatures and windy conditions are expected to break containment lines across Tasmania by the end of the week.

An emergency warning has been issued for the central Miena township where the fire rages out of containment lines.

Residents were warned falling embers could threaten homes before the main fire, and smoke and ash will make it hard to see and breathe.

Between 20 and 40 people have been moved to evacuation centres set up at Bothwell Town Hall and Miena Community Hall for those in the Miena area.

An earlier emergency warning for Tahune, southwest of Hobart, has been downgraded to a watch and act.

A supplied image obtained on Monday, January 7, 2019, shows the Gell River bushfire in Tasmania's southwest that has burned through about 18,000 hectares of wilderness. (AAP Image/NSW Rural Fire Service) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
The Gell River bushfire in Tasmania's southwest has been burning since December 28.
Supplied

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

The latest warning comes as a run of hot and dry days sets the stage for a week of damning fire weather conditions in Tasmania.

TFS Chief Officer Chris Arnol says the situation was "quite dynamic".

"The end of the week is not looking good for us."

There are plans for a total fire ban across the entire state on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Specialist fire personnel from interstate and New Zealand are helping tackle the scores of blazes.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts warm conditions across Tasmania this week, with rain bringing a hint of relief in the south on Wednesday, before temperatures soar again.

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