Bushfire emergency downgraded in Tasmania’s north after sweltering day


TAS

The Tasmania Fire Service has downgraded an emergency bushfire warning for Winkleigh in the state’s north to a watch and act.

The TFS warned the fire may still put Winkleigh at high risk within two to six hours.

“There may be embers, smoke and ash falling on Winkleigh,” the TFS said.

Earlier, TFS regional fire controller Ian Bounds said helicopters were waterbombing in the area to protect buildings.

“It’s a range of properties through that area, we’ve got crews actively protecting those properties and being supported by aircraft at this point,” he said.

People who do not live near Winkleigh have been asked to stay away.

Sweltering day across Tasmania

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Heatwaves kill far more people than other natural disasters. ABC Emergency has a checklist of things you can do to be ready.

Temperatures in Tasmania on Friday exceeded those in Darwin, with Campania and Hobart Airport in the state’s south reaching 41 degrees Celsius just after 2:00pm.

Temperatures in Hobart reached 40C, while Launceston hit 36C.

Flinders Island peaked at 39C and Strahan 38C, which the weather bureau said was “fairly warm for them”.

The weather bureau’s Simon McCulloch said temperatures of 40C or more were unusual for Tasmania, but were becoming more frequent.

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“We’ve had about 16 days where we’ve had over 40 degrees as the state’s maximum, across the records that we have over the last 100 years or so,” he said.

“Most of those days have happened this century, and three of them happened in 2019, so there’s certainly been more frequency of those higher temperatures in recent times.

“Certainly in my 30 years at the bureau, we’ve never forecast 40C before, and now we’ve done it twice in a month.”

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Mr McCulloch said the heatwave was expected to end on Saturday afternoon.

“It’s likely to remain very warm Friday night and into Saturday, we don’t really start to cool down until Saturday afternoon.”

The warm weather in Tasmania comes after a week of heatwave conditions on the mainland as a high pressure system slowly makes its way across the south of the country.

The warm weather will be short-lived, with snow forecast to fall on the state’s high peaks on Monday.

Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news