News State Tasmania New Tasmanian fires could push crews to limit

New Tasmanian fires could push crews to limit

The Gell River bushfire in Tasmania's southwest that has burned through about 18,000 hectares of wilderness. Photo: NSW Rural Fire Service/AAP
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Worsening fire conditions across Tasmania means up to 50 blazes are expected to break containment lines by the end of the week.

More than 20 people have already been moved to evacuation centres as authorities issued multiple warnings for fires on Monday.

In the path of one blaze is popular tourism drawcard, the Tahune Airwalk.

Located south-west of Hobart, the series of steel walkways suspended in trees, has been closed as the fire will put nearby areas at “very high risk”, the Tasmania Fire Service warned.

The Prince of Orange enjoys the Huon Valley’s Tahune Forest Airwalk in October 2006. Photo: Getty

There is also an emergency warning in place for the central Miena township where another fire rages out of containment lines.

Residents are warned falling burning embers will 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.

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 said 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.

“I understand Tasmanians may be planning to have a long weekend, we unapologetically make these decisions,” Mr Arnol said.

“This is not a time of complacency.”

The fire chief said if predictions were correct, fires already burning would likely break containment lines on Friday, with any new fires pushing crews to their limit.

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

A major fire is still burning near Gell River, north-west of Hobart, scorching more than 20,000 hectares of wilderness since it started on December 28 and there is a blaze near Lake Fergus in the state’s centre.

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.