It was a nervous wait for thousands of people trapped on either side of bushfires that swept through the state's South today, and destroyed buildings.
The only access road on and off the Tasman Peninsula, the Arthur Highway, was closed for safety reasons from midday.
That meant some residents could not return to their home, and many of those sought refuge at the Sorell Memorial Hall.
Sorell Mayor Kerry Vincent said by 6pm there were about 45 people anxiously but patiently waiting inside the hall.
``I have been amazed at the number of businesses and people that have been offering to help with food, or looking after pets or even offering to look after people for the evening,'' Mr Vincent said.
``Everyone is so patient and calm at the moment ... considering we have heard that homes have been lost.''
At Koonya, a former convict outstation near Port Arthur, Roseanne Heyward was monitoring the situation to see if she would need to evacuate.
The Tasman Councillor said there was a steady stream of traffic heading to another refuge set up at Nubeena Civic Centre.
Ms Heyward said there had been reports of shops being destroyed by fire at Dunalley.
``It's very smokey. The smoke is black and it's still hot and windy,'' she said.
``It's quite frightening to see it and we're all keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will change.''
Residents of Dunalley, Primrose Sands, Murdunna, Sommers Bay, Eagle Hawk Neck, Doo Town and Carlton River Road were all advised to evacuate at various stages of the day.
Tasman Council general manager Robert Higgins was at Nubeena as the majority of those residents started arriving at the refuge.
He described the scene as controlled, but busy _ before his phone reception was cut off.