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Bushfire burning in Tasmania’s north-east sparked by lightning, Parks and Wildlife believe

Pulse Tasmania
The fire, as seen from Mt Horror at 5:54 am. Image / PWS

A bushfire which forced the evacuation of dozens of residents and campers in Tasmania’s north-east this morning is believed to have been started by a lightning strike.

Parks and Wildlife say the fire near Tomahawk was detected in the early hours of Thursday morning, with the area going on emergency evacuation alert shortly after.

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“The reserve has been closed to all visitors whilst firefighting operations are underway. Homestead Road has been closed to non-emergency vehicles and the public are asked to stay away from the area for their own safety,” PWS say

“Firefighting crews are currently working to contain the fire and protect assets within the reserve.”

The bushfire at Waterhouse on Thursday. Image / WIN News (Tilly Hannan)

“The fire is suspected to have started as a result of a lightning strike.”

Evacuations as ‘uncontrollable bushfire’ moves towards Tomahawk in north-east Tasmania

An emergency level warning has been issued as an uncontrollable bushfire heads towards Tomahawk in Tasmania’s north-east.

The fire from above on Thursday morning. Image / Tasmania Fire Service

Residents near the Waterhouse Conservation Area, Ransons Beach, West Beach and surrounding areas are strongly advised to evacuate immediately.

According to the Tasmania Fire Service, the blaze is currently burning “out of control” and was anticipated to pose a high risk as early as 6:30am.

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Northern Regional Chief Jeff Harper said there are currently 16 vehicles responding, with crews working to control the blaze.

“A further six rotary aircraft and two planes are also responding to the incident,” he said.

The bushfire emergency warning area. Image / TasAlert

“The fire was reported shortly after 4am and was observed to be quite large. At this stage it’s not known how the fire started.”

“Fire crews have been evacuating campers from the area, as there are concerns the fire will spread to Homestead Road which is the only way in and out of the conservation area.”

He said there is no evacuation centre established, with people instead being escorted to Waterhouse Road.

Tasmania Fire Service aerial firefighting helicopter. Image / Pulse

“People who have been displaced are advised that there are Nearby Safer Places located at Bridport to the west of the fire and Gladstone to the east of the fire,” he said.

“The fire is travelling towards Tomahawk and a Watch and Act message (monitor conditions as they are changing) has been issued for Tomahawk and Surrounds.”

“At this stage crews believe the fire will be controlled before reaching Tomahawk, but we need people to stay informed.”

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