Seven firefighters hurt

SEVEN Tasmanian firefighters were injured battling a bushfire yesterday.

The seven were recovering from minor burns and smoke inhalation sustained at Glenlusk, near Hobart, attending  one of five serious fires around the state last night.

Firefighters in the North expected to face another three days fighting a fire that started near Poatina and has   stretched to Arthurs Lake with the weather against them.

No properties are immediately at risk, but camping grounds at Jonah Bay, Hydro Bay and Cowpaddock Bay at Arthurs Lake were evacuated and closed to the public.

Other fires broke out at Geeveston, Forcett and Glen Huon.

The Tasmania  Fire Service and Parks and Wildlife last night encouraged residents in all five areas to activate their bushfire plans.

The fire at Poatina was last night still not contained, incident controller Chris Arthur said.

``It is in the order of 1100 hectares and is burning from Cramps Bay at Great Lake  over the Poatina Highway and through paddocks at Arthurs Lake,'' Mr Arthur said.

``There are active flames and the fire is wind-driven, and the weather conditions are making it extremely difficult to control. We will have those weather conditions until Tuesday, so we'll have a significant period of time to deal with this fire.''

Mr Arthur said crews were last night patrolling Poatina Road and Cramps Bay to monitor the fire, with the firefighting effort expected to start again at first light.

He said there were 40 people working on the fire, from the Tasmania  Fire Service, the State Emergency Service  and Parks and Wildlife.

Mr Arthur said no residents had been evacuated, but they had been encouraged to activate their bushfire plans.

Power supply for communities around Great Lake is also at risk, with the fire threatening the Transend feeder line between Northern and southern Tasmania.

``A number of transmission lines  run through that corridor,'' Mr Arthur said. ``The fire will impact that corridor. We've been working with Transend most of the day to manage that, but we're not sure what that impact will be.''

He implored people to stay away from Poatina Road, which was last night closed, unless they really had to be in the area.

In the south, the four fires were all labelled as ``watch and act'', TFS southern region public information officer Michael Goldsmith said.

``Crews will continue to work on those throughout the evening  and will be resupplemented with extra crews in the morning,'' he said.

``The weather is not expected to be as high tomorrow, so it should work favourable for our teams, but it's not something we can  disregard and we'll keep working over the weekend to contain and consolidate all the control lines that have been established.''


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