Rising temperatures spark total fire ban

THE warm weather and increased fire risk is set to continue, with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting more high temperatures and the Tasmania Fire Service issuing a total fire ban in the North of the state.

According to the bureau, yesterday's temperatures reached 29.9 degrees in Launceston, 30.8 in Cressy, 24.7 in St Helens, 28.4 in Scottsdale and 22 in Devonport.

Climatologist Ian Barnes-Keoghan said it was warmest in the South, with Ouse hitting 33.2 degrees, Campania 32 and Bushy Park also 32.

``Launceston's average February temperature is 24.5 degrees, so it's certainly a bit warmer, but it's not completely unusual for this time of year . . . it reaches 30 degrees about four days every summer,'' Mr Barnes-Keoghan said.

He said temperatures would be slightly milder today, with Launceston expected to hit 27 degrees, St Helens 29, Burnie 24, Cressy 28 and Hobart 28.

The Tasmania Fire Service yesterday announced a total fire ban in the North, with Cressy, Campbell Town, Ross and the Fingal Valley expected to hit ``very high fire danger'' ratings this afternoon.

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