South and East facing extreme fire danger day

 THE East Coast, the South-East and the upper Derwent Valley all face extreme fire danger conditions today, with soaring temperatures and strong, dry winds forecast.

All other regions are facing either extreme or very high fire danger and a total fire ban has been declared for the entire state from midnight last night.

``Conditions forecast . . . are the worst since the 2006-07 season where large fires impacted in the state's North-East, Hobart's Eastern Shore, Mount Nelson and Epping Forest,'' Tasmania Fire Service chief officer Mike Brown said.

``We have additional strike team crews, heavy machinery and aircraft at ready to respond but under the extreme conditions firefighting will be very difficult.''

Fires at Richmond and Primrose Sands in the South were major concerns for the Fire Service yesterday.

Mr Brown said people living in areas of extreme fire danger who were not confident with their fire preparation or their ability to stay and protect their property should consider relocating for the day.

``For people who do elect to stay at home and stay with their property, they must ensure that they have a bushfire survival plan and that they review that plan,'' he said.

He also urged people to remain vigilant and continue to monitor the fire situation either by listening to ABC local radio or monitoring the Tasmania Fire Service website, www.fire.tas.gov.au

``The most important thing is if they do decide to leave - leave early - because leaving late is very dangerous,'' he said.

Mr Brown said in addition to the high temperatures and windy conditions, three drier than average months meant the landscape had dried out.

``We really urge people - and it's still not too late - to go and have a look at our bushfire survival plan,'' he said.

The plans are available from TFS offices and brigades or from www.fire.tas.gov.au

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