News State Tasmania Tasmania braces as bushfire conditions set to worsen
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Tasmania braces as bushfire conditions set to worsen

tasmania bushfires
A helicopter battles the blaze at Meina, in central Tasmania. Photo: Nathan Foale/Tasmania Fire Service
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Emergency warnings have been issued across central Tasmania as almost 50 bushfires continue to burn across the state before worsening weather conditions expected later this week.

The Tasmania Fire Service says lives and properties remain at risk.

On Wednesday afternoon, the TFS issued emergency warnings for Penstock Lagoon and Tods Corner, on Tasmania’s Central Plateau, because of a blaze at Great Pine Tier.

“This fire will be difficult to control,” it said. “There may be embers, smoke and ash falling.”

The TFS advised residents to take action to protect themselves and their properties – and to leave the area if they were not prepared for a bushfire.

Earlier on Wednesday, it had also warned residents of Miena, Barren Tier, Liawenee and Shannon that they might be in danger and should take immediate action.

One property had been destroyed near Miena, the TFS confirmed on Tuesday night. The ABC reported the owners of the Skittle Ball Plains Homestead, about 7 kilometres from Miena, were there on Tuesday afternoon with TFS staff when the fishing retreat caught fire about 5pm. 

Residents and firefighters were safe, the TFS said.

However, with more winds and high temperatures expected by the end of the week, the danger remains for much of the state.

Residents in the line of fire are being told to be on alert for embers, smoke and ash and dozens of people have already moved to evacuation centres.

One major fire is still burning near Gell River, north-west of Hobart. It has scorched more than 20,000 hectares of wilderness since it started on December 28. There is another blaze near Lake Fergus in the state’s centre.

On Wednesday, the Tourism Council of Tasmania warned visitors and holidaymakers that their travel plans could be forced to change at short notice.

“If the decision is made to close further national parks, tracks and camp grounds, there will obviously be a lot of campers and walkers who will need alternative accommodation arrangements,” Tourism Council chief executive Luke Martin said.

“Operators have advised TICT what accommodation they have available and where. We will start distributing this information to all visitor information centres and parks visitor centres across the state this morning, and continue to keep it updated over the next few days, to assist any affected visitors seeking alternative accommodation.”

People should also keep track of the situation on the TasAlerts, Tas Fire Service and Parks and Wildlife Services websites.

On Sunday, the TFS urged anyone in the state’s bush areas or campsites to stay aware of weather and conditions ahead of a forecast hot week.

“We will be declaring total fire bans for Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday,” it wrote in a Facebook post.

“Forecast weather conditions on those days will make containing existing fires and stopping new fires extremely difficult.”

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

-with AAP