Tasmania under new fire threat

Hot, dry and windy conditions have sparked a fresh spate of bushfires threatening homes in Tasmania.

In the worst outbreak, on Hobart’s northern bushland fringe, firefighting resources were poured into the small communities at Molesworth and Collinsvale on Thursday. Locals were evacuated.

Tasmania Fire Service chief officer Mike Brown said firefighters, with the help of five water-bombing helicopters, had saved a number of homes.

‘‘The fire is burning downhill, and it’s burning against the wind,’’  Mr Brown said. ‘‘It’s causing a lot of concern, burning in some very rough and inaccessible country.’’

He said the fire had the potential to threaten more populated northern suburbs of Hobart but so far had not burned any homes.

‘‘We’re going to have to do a lot of work on it in the next few days,’’ he said.

In the rural hamlet of Lefroy, northern Tasmania, another fire sprang up, forcing the rapid evacuation of homes, while in the southern town of Franklin firefighters were working on a further blaze.

Last month the disastrous Dunalley fire destroyed 126 properties east of Hobart, but Mr Brown said February was traditionally the worst month for fires in the state.

Thursday’s fires came on the 46th anniversary of the 1967 Tasmanian bushfires that killed 62  people and destroyed 1,293 homes.

This story Tasmania under new fire threat first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.