Fire service relief as cooler weather arrives

AFTER four consecutive days of plus-30-degree temperatures, cooler weather is on its way.

And while it may be a little disappointing for hot weather lovers, it provides relief for many, especially the Tasmania Fire Service.

Members of the service have spent the past few days on high alert after total fire bans were issued across the state.

A spate of vegetation fires was reported on Friday, with the most significant on the West Coast.

West Coast fires incident controller Shane Breen said lightning strikes had started the fires at Surprise Creek, south of Pieman Heads, and near the Lyell Highway, between Queenstown and Strahan, on Friday.

An incident management team was set up at Zeehan yesterday to monitor and manage the two bushfires.

Mr Breen said moderate conditions on  Friday night  and yesterday allowed crews to secure the 200-hectare boundary of the Lyell Highway fire and the 375-hectare boundary of the Surprise Creek fire to ensure they didn't spread.

He said crews were hoping for cooler temperatures in coming days.

``While the fire ratings are low to moderate, it gives us time to prepare for the next heatwave,'' he said.

Both fires are   in largely inaccessible terrain, away from houses, and are expected to continue for a few days.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Damien Everett said temperatures across the state would remain in the low 20s until Tuesday.

``There is nothing to predict any more heatwaves in the foreseeable future,'' he said.

He said rain would fall across the North, North-East and Central Plateau today.

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