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Walkers warned of remote area fires


The Parks and Wildlife Service is warning walkers intending to walk in remote locations in the Southwest National Park and West Coast areas to check the fire situation before setting off due to numerous fires caused by lightning strikes yesterday.

 Parks and Wildlife Service State Fire Manager Paul Black said there are currently about 14 fires on lands managed by PWS, although this number may increase as spotter flights report new fires.

 We are working with the Tasmanian Fire Service and Forestry Tasmania on a cooperative response to the more than 40 going fires around the state.

Our priority is visitor safety and removing visitors from harm’s way should these fires escalate over the coming days. Today visitors at Melaleuca were advised to remain there while the fire situation was assessed, following reports of fires in the area. Visitation into and out of Melaleuca will resume as normal tomorrow.

Helicopters will also check the Eldon Range west of Lake St Clair, and the track to Lake Rhona, following fire and smoke reports.

In conjunction with the other agencies, spotter flights will continue over the next several days to ensure we know about all going fires.

While no walking tracks are closed at present, this situation may change when warmer weather returns on the weekend. While there may be fires from lightning strikes that are fairly quiet at the moment, these and potentially a number of new fires may become apparent with warm and windy weather. 

Walkers are strongly advised to consider not embarking on multi-day walks into remote areas in the southwest and West Coast under this current fire situation. We have a very dry landscape and what may seem a benign situation can very quickly turn to disaster if walkers are caught in the bush ahead of a fast moving fire.

We are also urging walkers to lodge their trip intention in log books at track heads and visitor centres and to talk to local parks staff for the latest information.

Walkers can check the PWS website www.parks.tas.gov.au ‘track closures’ section and the PWS Facebook page, as well as the TFS www.fire.tas.gov.au for up to date information on tracks, parks and reserves affected by fire.