Be prepared as fire danger rises

WITH temperatures forecast to hit the high 20s in the central North from tomorrow, the Tasmania Fire Service has warned people in bushfire-prone areas to be prepared.

The fire season was declared before Christmas and there have been no major fires since fire permits were required in Northern and Southern municipalities.

Fire permits are not needed in the North-West.

Acting deputy Northern regional chief John Hazzlewood said it was a popular misconception that fire permits banned the lighting of fires, such as fuel reduction burns.

He said the fire service encouraged landowners to reduce fuel loads on their properties when conditions were safe.

Mr Hazzlewood also advised residents in the North-West to register their burns with the fire service, to prevent unnecessary brigade call-outs.

``Over the next few weeks we expect grass to cure off in the larger areas in the North,'' he said.

``The North-West is a bit slower, but people still need to be careful.

``The coastal areas are always dry.

``There have been one or two smaller fires, particularly in the coastal areas before Christmas and before permits were declared.

``A couple were burning overnight.''

Mr Hazzlewood said last year's January bushfires had reminded people to be prepared.

He urged people to create a bushfire plan, including a back-up plan.

More information about permits and plans is available at  www.fire.tas.gov.au.

People in the North-West can register their burns by calling 1800 000 699.

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