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Bushfire warning: Tasmania faces dangerous conditions despite morning cloud and rain

By Keiva de Gooyer, Saturday January 6, 2018 - 17:56 EDT
Audience submitted image
Higher temperatures and clearing cloud are expected to be accompanied by storms late on Saturday. - Audience submitted

Tasmanians are being urged to remain on alert as the state faces dangerous bushfire conditions despite overcast conditions across the state on Saturday morning.

The temperature in Hobart reached 31 degrees Celsius just after midday on Saturday, before rising to a high of 36C and settling back at 33C.

Cloud started to drift away by about 1:00pm, after morning rain and drizzle, but cloud returned sporadically during the afternoon, settling over Hobart by 3:00pm.

Deputy State Fire Controller Shane Batt said there were no fires of concern burning anywhere in the state as of Saturday afternoon.

"The bushfire danger will increase as the afternoon and evening progresses," Mr Batt said.

"We need the public to remain vigilant."

Mr Batt said very high and severe fire danger ratings were forecast into the night in many areas of the state.

"The Tasmania Fire Service [TFS], Parks and Wildlife Service, Sustainable Timbers and our partner agencies have significant resources on standby, including aircraft and machinery to act if need be," he said.

"People are strongly encouraged to be aware of the current weather situation, as things may change rapidly."

A total fire ban is in place until midnight on Saturday in the south, north (including Flinders Island) and King Island in the north-west region due to hot, windy and dry conditions.

The weather bureau said mid-afternoon cloud coverage was actually building over the west of the state, and that the cloud build up would generally come and go locally, and then settle over many areas.

'It's important to have a plan'

Tasmania Police is also , and have urged people to alert them to any dodgy activity.

The service has 230 brigades and extra fire-fighting aircraft on standby and has urged everyone to be prepared for the conditions and know their bushfire plans, including places of safety and evacuation routes.

TFS state operations manager Greg Butters said people needed to know what to do should the worst happen.

"This rain won't do much to help us with the hot, dry and windy weather this afternoon, as that will soon dry off, and we will be in the very high and severe fire danger ratings," he said.

"It's really important people have a plan, and if it's an emergency warning it's too late to leave, we would expect people to be aware of their surroundings and be vigilant."

The weekend bushfire warnings and.

In early January 2013 during a heatwave across Australia, a large bushfire broke out at near Dunalley, east of Hobart.

On January 5, a massive inferno destroyed 65 properties at Dunalley, including a police station, primary school and bakery. No-one was killed.


© ABC 2018

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