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Fire authorities issue plea ahead of long weekend heatwave warning

Pulse Tasmania
The fire in Ravenswood as seen around Launceston on Wednesday afternoon. Image / Facebook

With the long weekend temperatures expected to hover around the low-30s, fire authorities are pleading with the community to do everything they can to support them.

As a severe heatwave is forecasted for most of the north, Tasmania Fire Service Deputy Chief Officer Matt Lowe said he wants everyone to be able to enjoy the break safely.

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“Preventing bushfires is a shared responsibility and we need your help to keep Tasmania fire safe this long weekend,” he said.

“Many people will be heading off around the state over the coming days and may be in a different environment to usual.”

“It’s really important that people are aware of their surroundings and the risk that might apply in that area.”

Tasmania Fire Service Deputy Chief Officer Matt Lowe. Image / Pulse

A ban on campfires, pot fires and other solid fuel stoves at high-risk campgrounds across a number of parks and reserves implemented by Parks and Wildlife (PWS) remains in place until further notice.

State Fire Manager for PWS Katy Edwards thanked visitors to national parks, reserves and Crown Land for their cooperation so far during the campfire restriction period.

“Escaped campfires have the potential to cause catastrophic damage to the places and people we love,” she said.

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“Our priority is community and visitor safety and preventing bushfires from starting.”

Despite the fire restrictions in place this season, there have been over 200 reports of abandoned or unattended campfires on PWS-managed land.

A deliberate bushfire burns in Launceston earlier this week. Image / Pulse

Firefighters are urging the community to report any fire activity they see in the landscape.

“Don’t assume that someone else has already reported a fire. We would rather have multiple calls than not find out until it’s too late,” Lowe said.

A bushfire burns in Tasmania’s Central Highlands. Image / Pulse

“High Fire Danger Ratings are forecast for the central and southern districts on Saturday, with the potential for pockets of Extreme Fire Danger in some areas.”

“If you see smoke in the air, or fire in the landscape, please do not hesitate to call Triple-Zero (000).”

“If you see anyone acting suspiciously, please call police immediately.”

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