A brush cutter coming in contact with rocks and producing sparks has been determined as the cause of a vegetation fire that put 15 homes in Hobart's south under direct threat on Saturday afternoon.
The fire was reported at 2.25pm near Proctors Road, Dynnyrne, prompting aerial support to protect the nearby Mount Nelson community.
It burnt over 1.5 hectares of vegetation and destroyed an outbuilding on a property causing $50,000 damage.
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The proximity to homes, however, was the fire's greatest threat.
Tasmania Fire Service chief officer Dermot Barry said the person using the brush cutter had tried to extinguish the fire, but it spread rapidly due to dry fuel nearby and a steep slope.
He said it showed the importance of being vigilant when carrying out work near dry fuel.
"Yesterday's incident clearly demonstrates how important it is that people maintain vigilance when conducting any work which has the potential to start a fire," Mr Barry said.
"Something as simple as having a garden hose on hand can make all the difference."
Aerial firefighting units could be seen crossing Hobart as smoke emerged from near Mt Nelson, dumping substantial amounts of water.
Mr Barry said the quick response, combined with a recent fuel reduction burn, had helped to prevent a disaster.
"A fuel reduction burn conducted on 31 November 2021 helped to effectively stop spot fires spreading and impacting on the Mt Nelson community," he said.
"Fuel reduction burning does not prevent bushfires from occurring, but the potential damage of fires are reduced, making it easier and safer for firefighters to control fires.
"Several fuel reduction burns in the Hobart municipality have reduced bushfire risk.
"The Fuel Reduction Program and Hobart City Council will be conducting further burns this Autumn to help protect the City of Hobart, including fuel reduction burns in Mt Nelson, South Hobart, Ridgeway and Queens Domain."
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