The small town of Tasmania, Miena, is ready to flee when bush fire sends smoke into the sky



January 19, 2019 16:03:53

Firefighters fought against forest fires near Miena in Tasmania's Central Highlands, with people in the town warning that the flames could put them at "high risk".

Key points:

  • Two burning fires at the opposite end of the Little Pine Lagoon were greeted with a heavy response by an emergency crew, with several aircraft and dozens of teams sent
  • People were told to immediately activate their scrub survival plans, with winds expected to increase fire activity and uncertainty
  • Staff at the Great Lake Hotel said that they were "ready" to evacuate, if the situation worsened

The fire, which has so far burned at around 4,000 hectares, is one of 46 ongoing fires in Tasmania, which require an outgoing call to the mainland fire service for assistance.

This afternoon, three waterbombing planes, 12 heavy tankers and dozens of other fire fighting equipment in action in the bush near the Little Pine Lagoon, about 10 kilometers west of Miena, a small community in the central highlands.

Photos of fire were posted on social media, with one showing clumps of smoke rising from the beach of Little Pine Lagoon, taken from the safety of a ship, with an unknown photographer who reported that they had been "ordered out of the water".

The Great Lake Hotel, in Miena, posted on their page that they were "ready" for evacuation, if that happened.

"There has been no evacuation order. TFS (Tasmanian Fire Service) and Pol bag (police) have been great at communicating current conditions. If there are changes, I would suggest."

TFS Incident Control Deputy, Brett Fazackerly said people should avoid the area unless absolutely necessary.

"As the day gets hotter, we have seen a significant increase in fire activity," he said.

"At this stage, our airstrikes and ground crews were arrested [containment] western line of Miena. "

Inconsistent wind pushes fire in various directions.

Deputy Supervisor Fazackerly said the priority of the short-term fire crew was to protect the city of Miena, with authorities going door-to-door to notify residents of the situation.

The Marlborough Highway is closed entirely from Great Lake Hotel in Miena to Bronte Park.

Heavy machinery was also brought in to strengthen the detention line.

The nearby fires at Great Pine Tier which yesterday were downgraded have been pushed back to the top to watch and act today, with anyone in the area encouraged by TFS to "activate your scrub rescue plan now".

"Estimates of the wind will increase fire activity in the area during the daytime. This fire can place Lake Fergus, Little Pine River, Little Pine Lagoon, O & D; Dells Lake, Lake Flora, Double Lagoon, First Lagoon and Lake Kay and Nineteen Lagoons area high risk this afternoon. "

TFS said the fire, which had burned around 4,500 hectares, would be "difficult to control".

"There may be coals of fire, smoke and ash falling on Lake Fergus, the Little Pine River, Laguna Little Pine, Lake O 'Dells, Lake Flora, Double Laguna, First Lagoon, and Lake Kay."

Heavy aircraft and tankers, along with dozens of other crew members, were involved in the battle, with people who were not local residents urged to stay away from the area.

Current TFS advice for people in the area under supervision and the level of action is:

  • If your house is well prepared and actively maintained, it must provide a place to live;
  • If you are going to leave, make sure you have a clear path to a safer place;
  • If you don't live near Miena, the Central Highlands, move away. The road can be very dangerous;
  • Listen to ABC Local Radio or visit for more information


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Posted first

January 19, 2019 15:55:16


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