IILU Deployment - Tasmania 2016

Overview

Tasmania has requested assistance from the mainland states to support operations and the management of their current fires.

Family and Friends Update [27] – 13/03/2016 – 17:30AEST       

All personnel have returned to Victoria.  We thank them for their assistance with this deployment.

 

Family and Friends Update [26] – 22/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

58 fires remain active State-wide. 27 are currently going and 31 are in patrol. To date approximately 124,200 hectares have been burnt. All fires are now mapped. The current fires have an approximate perimeter of 945 km. Hot spots remain for the majority of fires. Access is difficult; and majority of response involves aerial insertion, hand tools, containment and blacking out where possible. Significant prog

 

A NSW RFS appliance rolled over at the Pippeline/Mawbanna fire yesterday in which five RFS firefighters were injured. Four have been released from hospital with one remaining in hospital with non critical injuries. An indepent accident investigation will be undertaken in consultation with Tasmania Police, TFS and NSW RFS.

 

There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts. Five ‘Advice’ messages are currently in force (Lake Mackenzie x 2, South West and Mawbanna x 2); however the spread of the fire will determine future alerts and this is capable of changing rapidly. Please see www.fire.tas.gov.au for more details.

 

Photos

Berowra Pipeline Fire

Source: NSW RFS Volunteer Mal Desmarchelier

79 CFA crews returning from Tasmania – 21 Feb

Source: Facebook - Vic Emergency

New Zealand Crews – Burnie, Wuthering Heights Road Complex Fire

Source: NZ Liaison

New Zealand Crews – Burnie, Wuthering Heights Road Complex Fire

Source: NZ Liaison

Family and Friends Update [25] – 19/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

59 fires remain active State-wide. 27 are currently going and 32 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts. Five ‘Advice’ messages are currently in force (Lake Mackenzie x 2, South West and Mawbanna x 2); however the spread of the fire will determine future alerts and this is capable of changing rapidly. Please see www.fire.tas.gov.au for more details.

To date approximately 125,000 hectares have been burnt. Several fires remain unmapped. The current fires have an approximate perimeter of 1080 km. Hot spots remain for the majority of fires. The status of the major fire complexes are detailed below; however please note the circumstances are largely unchanged. Access is difficult; and majority of response involves aerial insertion, hand tools, soft containment and blacking out where possible. Significant progress is being made on the majority of fires and planning is starting for rehabilitation.

 

Photos

IMG_0537

New Zealand Crews – Burnie, Wuthering Heights Road Complex Fire

Source: NZ Liaison

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/1930534_1587876094768198_200668398640645443_n.jpg?oh=9a95e29d7e8bf2b6431cf4769e6fc0b9&oe=572CECC4

DELWP & Parks Victoria crews departing Melbourne to assist Tasmania

Source: Lisa Neville MP Facebook

 

Family and Friends Update [24] – 17/02/2016 – 11:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

78 fires remain active State-wide. 28 are currently going and 50 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts. 

Six ‘Advice’ messages are currently in force (Lake Mackenzie x 2, South West and Mawbanna x 3); however the spread of the fire will determine future alerts and this is capable of changing rapidly. Please see www.fire.tas.gov.au for more details.

To date, 124,169 hectares have been burnt. Several fires remain unmapped. The current fires have an approximate perimeter of 951.2 km. Hot spots remain for the majority of fires. Representatives of the State’s fire agencies have met with environmental experts regarding the strategic risk assessment process. The status of the major fire complexes are detailed below; however please note the circumstances are largely unchanged. Access is difficult; and majority of response involves aerial insertion, hand tools, soft containment and blacking out where possible.

A deep low to the south-west will generate gusty south westerly winds throughout today; however, the air mass is generally moist, keeping relative humidity high in the western part of the state.  The SW stream will persist until Friday, though decreasing in strength as the low passes. Temperatures will increase towards the end of the week (Friday through Monday) the relative humidity will drop and another approaching cold front will bring some additional low rainfall amounts, particularly in the SW.

There is a low rainfall signal for the remainder of February.

 

As of today there are a total of 416 international and interstate personnel operating in the State.  This includes 116 from Victoria, 171 from NSW/ACT, 18 from Queensland, 68 from South Australia and 43 from New Zealand. These crews continue to be supported by crews from Forestry Tasmania, Parks and Wildlife and TFS.

Over the weekend, a COMDISPLAN was activated to utilise Defence assets (C-17 transport) in order to transport a base camp from the mainland to Tasmania yesterday (Monday, 15 February.  The base is operational. evening. It is being based at Stanley. Additionally, 50 inter-state appliances and support vehicles will also be received (commencing yesterday).

Photos

NSW RFS Base Camp – Mole Creek

Source: NSW RFS Facebook

Base Camp – All hands on deck loading the C17 – Australian Defence Force
Source: Your ADF twiter

VIC Base Camp - Stanely

Source: Facebook

 

 

 

Family and Friends Update [23] – 14/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

Showers are expected about the west and south briefly extending to central parts. On Monday a more substantial front will cross Tasmania as a low pressure system moves to the south of the state. Thunderstorm activity is expected in the SW tomorrow evening which will have accompanying lightening strikes. Showers are possible about the west and south extending state-wide during the afternoon. Winds will shift north westerly during the afternoon and will be strong and gusty at times. Tuesday winds will shift south westerly. Wednesday very windy and gusty conditions will continue. Thursday will see a warming pattern begin. The next four days will be difficult firefighting conditions due to strong winds associated with the fronts.

 

76 fires remain active State-wide. 27 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled and 49 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts. To date, 123, 037 hectares have been burnt.

 

Significant numbers from interstate and New Zealand continue to provide excellent and necessary capability. Approximately 250 firefighters from Victoria and NSW will arrive in Tasmania on Tuesday 16 February 2016 to support responses to the Pipeline Road, Mawbanna, Wuthering Heights Road and Arthur River fires. The Commonwealth Disaster Plan was activated on 13 February 2016 and Tasmania has requested the transport of a portable accommodation base camp from Victoria. The State Response Controller in Victoria has approved the deployment of a portable base camp, able to accommodate 250 personnel to Tasmania.

 

Photos

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CbI2gBfVAAAc-cS.jpg

The latest rotation of NSW RFS crews returned home today.

Source: NSW RFS twitter

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtf1/t31.0-8/12697013_1061337870574317_8384730224031272336_o.jpg

Aircraft over the North West Region

Source: Tasmanian Fire Service Facebook page

https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xlp1/t31.0-8/12694619_968192726594621_6879585531725201115_o.jpg

Rural fire volunteers perform helicopter flight over the fireground to identify hotstpots using thermal cameras.

Source: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services – Facebook page

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/9137f0758afa7aa49980d3177a29dece?width=650
Bombers from NSW Rural Fire Service are water-bombing fires in the states North West

Source: Craig Greenhill - The Mercury

 

Tasmanian bushfires: Remote area crews being pulled out as fire conditions worsen

Second deployment of NZ firefighters leaves for Tasmania

 

Family and Friends Update [22] – 13/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

A cold change is anticipated to pass over the State on Saturday which will bring some rain to the South and West. Strong pre-frontal northwesterly winds (40-50 km/hour) will precede this front which may lead to unstable fire behaviour, particularly on Eastern boundaries. 

 

On Monday a more substantial front will cross Tasmania as a low pressure system moves to the south of the state.  This will bring gale force winds in coastal regions. Strong westerly to southwesterly winds associated with the low nearby could potentially bring decent rainfall into the west and southwest on Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures are generally cooler temperatures.

 

76 fires remain active State-wide. 27 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled (note: these are switching between status periodically); and 49 are in patrol. 119,079 hectares have been burnt, this is an increase 115,336 hectares. This reflects the fact that the fires have grown in size. Several fires remain unmapped.

 

The circumstances are largely unchanged. Access is difficult; and majority of response involves aerial insertion, hand tools, soft containment and blacking out where possible. The active fire edges of all the fires detailed below will be mapped today. Where possible rehabilitation teams are scoping the requirements for a rehabilitation plan.

 

NSW has provided a base camp that is currently being set up at Mole Creek in North Tasmania to house firefighters.

 

Photos

NSW RFS crews have arrived in TAS to setup a base camp for 150 firefighters.

Source: Shane Fitzsimmons RFS Commissioner twitter

NSW RFS crews have arrived in TAS to setup a base camp for 150 firefighters.

Source: Shane Fitzsimmons RFS Commissioner twitter

Tasmania's State Fire Operations Centre (SFOC) in Hobart, Tasmania.

Source: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services – Facebook page


Incident Management Team Delta departing for Tasmania on 11/2/16.

Source: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services – Facebook page

 

Family and Friends Update [21] – 12/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

A cold change is anticipated to pass over the State on Saturday which will bring some rain to the South and West. Strong pre-frontal northwesterly winds (40-50 km/hour) will precede this front which may lead to unstable fire behaviour, particularly on Eastern boundaries. 

 

On Monday a more substantial front will cross Tasmania as a low pressure system moves to the south of the state.  This will bring gale force winds in coastal regions. Strong westerly to southwesterly winds associated with the low nearby could potentially bring decent rainfall into the west and southwest on Monday and Tuesday. Temperatures are generally cooler temperatures.

 

74 fires remain active State-wide. 27 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled (note: these are switching between status periodically); and 47 are in patrol. To date, 117,284 hectares have been burnt. This reflects the fact that the fires have grown in size.  Several fires remain unmapped.

 

Currently there are 38 aircraft now operating throughout the state, including additional resources from interstate including the LAT from Victoria. 

 

Photos

Large Air Tanker dropping water over north west Tasmania this morning.

Source: Tasmania Fire Service Facebook

Devils Gullet near Lake Mackenzie.

Source: Rob Blakers

 

Family and Friends Update [20] – 11/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

A cold change is anticipated to pass over the State on Saturday which will bring rain to the south and west. The change will not bring the amount of rain expected is decreasing and will be received in the south and west. Strong (40-50km/hr) north-westerly winds will precede this front which may lead to unstable fire behaviour particularly on Eastern boundaries.

 

Strong westerly to south-westerly winds with the low nearby could bring decent rainfall into the west and southwest on Monday and into Tuesday. Moderating southwesterly-southerly wind later Tuesday and into Wednesday. From Monday temperatures will be generally cooler.

 

76 fires remain active across Tasmania. 27 fires are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled. 48 fires are in patrol.

 

To date 115,336 hectares have been burnt. The increase in burnt hectares reflects the fact that the fires have grown in size. Both the Maxwell River and Pipeline Road fires have expanded.

 

Photos

https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xlt1/v/t1.0-9/12729272_1060721997302571_796940529037331438_n.jpg?oh=86fc4b61c121ca390a4db43e7faed7b9&oe=5730C566&__gda__=1463404151_2f5dc17dd644db1c0f78b1d19c8c3979

Remote area firefighters landing at a remote helipad near the Maxwell River South West fire.

Source: Tasmania Fire Service Facebook

Burn out pencil pines

The remains of a burnt out cluster of pencil pines which were estimated to be older than 1,500 years.

Source: www.abc.net.au; Supplied: Dan Brown

 

 

Family and Friends Update [19] – 10/02/2016 – 17:30AEST

Current Weather & Situation

A large stable high is moving over the State for the next four days. A weak cold front is predicted to pass today. Showers are forecast about the north east, clearing during the afternoon. A thunderstorm warning is current but this is expected to be a convective event with minimal lightening activity. This will primarily affect the East Coast. There is a small chance that these will reach the Central Plateau. Winds will be westerly with afternoon sea breezes about the north.

 

A cold change is anticipated to pass over the State on Saturday which will bring rain to the South and West. Strong pre-frontal NW winds will precede this front which may lead to unstable fire behaviour, particularly on Eastern boundaries. Temperatures will cool off.

 

74 fires remain active State-wide. 26 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled (note: these are switching between status periodically); and 48 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts. Four ‘Advice’ messages are currently in force (Lake Mackenzie, Lorinna, South West and Balfour); however the spread of the fire will determine future alerts and this is capable of changing rapidly..

 

There are 33 aircraft operating throughout the state, including additional resources from interstate including the LAT from Victoria.

Photos

 

74 additional NSW and ACT personnel departing NSW

Source: NSW RFS Twitter

 

World Heritage Area

Source: ABC

Smoke over Hobart

Source: Mercury

 

Family and Friends Update [18] – 09/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

Largely no change. A large stable high is moving over the State for the next four days. A weak cold front is predicted to pass on Wednesday. Good firefighting and flying conditions are expected for the next several days. Showers are forecast about the north east, clearing during the afternoon. Winds will be westerly with afternoon sea breezes about the north. Today it will be difficult to predict fire behaviour. There is a high fire

danger in the Derwent Valley.

Longer term outlook sees a high pressure ridge with light winds. A cold change is anticipated to pass over the State on Saturday and Monday which may bring rain to the West Coast.

 

73 fires remain active State-wide. 26 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled (note: these are switching between status periodically); and 47 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts.

 

Currently there are 32 aircraft now operating throughout the state, including additional resources from interstate.

 

Planning continues to incorporate 16 career firefighters from NSWFRS into Hobart Fire Brigade to allow additional resources to be released to the fireground and ensure fatigue management, commencing Wednesday Feb 10. In additional significant numbers from interstate and New Zealand continue to provide excellent and necessary capability. Interstate vehicles will commence repatriation back to home jurisdictions this week.

 

TFS and Tasmania Police are identifying processes for the transition towards recovery phase.

 

Click the following link to see the Map of Personnel Locations.

 

Photos

DSC02857

Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

DSC02874

Taken at Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

 

Family and Friends Update [17] – 08/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

Largely no change. A large stable high is moving over the State for the next four days. The Mersey complex is modelling a high fire danger for today due to the dryness of the fuel load. There will be localised wind effects.  Good firefighting and flying conditions are expected for the next several days. There is no significant rain forecast.

 

Longer term outlook sees a high pressure ridge with light winds. Average temperatures and no significant rain is expected; and localised wind gusts and strong afternoon sea breezes may cause a spike in the fire danger.

 

81 fires remain active State-wide. 26 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled and 55 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts.

 

Currently there are 32 aircraft now operating throughout the state, including additional resources from interstate.

Planning continues to incorporate 16 career firefighters from NSWFRS into Hobart Fire Brigade to allow additional resources to be released to the fireground and ensure fatigue management. In additional significant numbers from interstate and New Zealand continue to provide excellent and necessary capability. Interstate vehicles will commence repatriation back to home jurisdictions this week.

 

TFS and Tasmania Police are identifying processes for the transition towards recovery phase.

 

Click the following link to see the Map of Personnel Locations.

 

Photos

DSC02939

Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

DSC02872

Forestry Tasmania truck

Source: NZ Liaison

DSC02866

 Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

DSC02843

Gordon Dam

Source: NZ Liaison

 

Family and Friends Update [16] – 07/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

Largely no change. Currently a high pressure system is sitting to the East and West with light winds bringing stable conditions. A trough extending south from the mainland is bringing significant cloud (particularly in the North West). Low-moderate fire danger ratings are likely; and good firefighting and flying conditions are expected for the next several days.

 

Longer term outlook sees a high pressure ridge with light winds. Average temperatures and no significant rain is expected; and localised wind gusts and strong afternoon sea breezes may cause a spike in the fire danger.

 

77 fires remain active State-wide. 28 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled and 49 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts.

 

Currently there are 27 aircraft now operating throughout the state, including additional resources from interstate.

 

Planning continues to incorporate 16 career firefighters from NSWFRS into Hobart Fire Brigade to allow additional resources to be released to the fireground and ensure fatigue management. In additional significant numbers from interstate and New Zealand continue to provide excellent and necessary capability. Interstate vehicles will commence repatriation back to home jurisdictions this week.

 

Click the following link to see the Map of Personnel Locations

 

Photos

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Cag3toLUYAAIF39.jpg:large

NSW crews returning home today

Source: Twitter – Shane Fitzsimmons

DSC02945

Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

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 Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

News Articles

Sydney Morning Herald photos

 

Family and Friends Update [15] – 06/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

Good firefighting and flying conditions are expected for the next several days. That said no rain has been forecast for the next week and localised wind gusts and strong afternoon sea breezes may cause a spike in the fire danger; and in particular the Wuthering Heights and Pipeline Rd fires. A large high pressure system is dominating the weather pattern from Thursday through to today; bringing fine weather with high temperatures. There will be a high fire danger in the North West driven by high winds; however here are no other spikes in fire danger in the outlook period. The North West may have unpredictable sea breezes and local typography will heavily influence wind behaviour which may make fire patterns difficult to predict.

 

75 fires remain active State-wide. 28 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled and 47 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts.

 

Currently there are 24 aircraft now operating throughout the state, including additional resources from interstate. Planning is underway to incorporate 16 career firefighters from NSWFRS into Hobart Fire Brigade. In additional significant numbers from interstate and New Zealand continue to provide excellent and necessary capability.

 

Photos

DSC02958

Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

DSC02890

Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

DSC02914 Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

DSC02947

Strathgordon

Source: NZ Liaison

 

Family and Friends Update [14] – 05/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

Good firefighting and flying conditions are expected for the next several days. No rain has been forecast for the next 7 days. Localised wind gusts and strong afternoon sea breezes may cause a spike in the fire danger and in particular the Wuthering Heights and Pipeline Rd fires. A large high pressure system is dominating the weather pattern from Thursday through to Saturday; bringing fine weather with high temperatures. There will be a high fire danger in the North West driven by high winds. There are no other spikes in fire danger in the outlook period. The North West may have unpredictable sea breezes and local typography will heavily influence wind behaviour which may make fire patterns difficult to predict.

 

74 fires remain active State-wide. 30 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled. Two are contained and 42 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts.

 

Significant numbers from interstate and New Zealand continue to provide excellent and necessary capability. Overall, more than 180 personnel from other jurisdictions remain committed to operational assistance.

 

 

Photos

2016-02-05 John Rasmussen

Group photo, Strathgordon

(Source: John Rasmussen, NZ)

2016-02-04 Matt Paulson-2
North-West Region: Zeehan

(Source: Matt Paulson, NSW)

2016-02-04 Max Beuker-2

North-West Region: Zeehan

 (Source: Max Beuker, NSW)

 

 

Family and Friends Update [13] – 04/02/2016 – 17:30AEST       

Current Weather & Situation

Good firefighting and flying conditions are expected for the next several days. There was light rain overnight and into the morning but no further rain forecast for the next 7 days.

Localised wind gusts may cause a spike in the fire danger and in particular the Wuthering Heights and Pipeline Rd fires.

A large high pressure system is dominating the weather pattern from today through to Saturday; bringing fine weather with high temperatures.  There will be a high fire danger in the North West driven by high winds.  There are no other spikes in fire danger in the outlook period.  The North West may have unpredictable sea breezes and local typography will heavily influence wind behaviour which may make fire patterns difficult to predict.

 

69 fires remain active State-wide. 43 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled. Two are under control, 2 are contained and 24 are in patrol. There are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts.

 

There still remain approximately 180 remote area specialists operating throughout the State.  These are a combination of personnel from New Zealand, NSW, ACT, Parks and Wildlife, Forestry Tasmania and TFS firefighters.

Demobilisation planning for interface firefighting resources has commenced for likely downscaling later in the week / month as the situation dictates.

 

Photos

2016-02-04 Matt Paulson

North-West Region: Zeehan

(Source: Matt Paulson, NSW NPWS)

2016-02-04 Brian Levine

South Region: Cambridge

(Source: Brian Levine, NSW NPWS)

2016-02-04 Max Beuker

North-West Region: Zeehan

(Source: Max Beuker, NSW NPWS)

News Articles

http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-wilderness-fires-ignite-need-for-better-protection/news-story/d2d5b0cb059a00c5325b9b7aed0d7cb1

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3429623/Tasmanian-World-Heritage-area-devastated-bushfire.html

 

For previous instalments of the Family & Friends page for this deployment, click here…

 

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