Fires threaten Southern towns

FIRES in the state's South were still raging last night, with up to 30 crews working to contain the flames that threatened the townships near Ringwood Road, Ironstone Gully, Suhrs Road, Glenlusk, Collinsvale and Mount Wellington.

The main fire activity occurred near Ringwood Trail and the East-West Trail through to Collins Bonnet.

The 2500-hectare fire has been burning since last Wednesday, and remained uncontained late last night.

Fire crews have warned travellers in the area to be vigilant, as smoke could compromise visibility.

A fire refuge has been established at Carinya, behind New Norfolk High School, and safe places include Collinsvale War Memorial Hall and Malbina Cemetery.

People were asked to be alert at Roches Beach, near Lauderdale and Mornington.

Meanwhile, an 1800-hectare fire in bushland south-east of Fingal continued to spread smoke over the state's East Coast.

The fire, which has been burning within state forest and the Douglas Apsley National Park since last Wednesday, is about nine kilometres west of the Tasman Highway and 14 kilometres south-east of Fingal. 

The Douglas Appsley National Park and all walking tracks within the park have been closed.

Although smoke is visible in many areas there is no immediate threat to communities.

Fire crews also attended a small bushfire at Karoola yesterday evening.

The Barretts Road bushfire was reported as uncontrolled about 5pm, and burned through a hectare of bush before it was contained. 

Units also contained a 220-hectare fire at Lefroy, on the East Tamar, with blackout and patrol operations.

The George Town Council has established limited speed zones while smoke is still affecting the area, and Aurora units have begun work on replacing power lines.

Tasmania Fire has warned residents that smoke will linger for the next five days.

For more information about the bushfires go to www.fire.tas.gov.au

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