Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Sat 21 Dec, 2019 6:13 pm

Reports of bushfires on the Prince of Wales Range
http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId= ... teID=80735

and Twelve Trees Range
http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId= ... teID=80714

edit 22/12 - Another report just north of Innes High Rocky

http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId= ... D=19038837
That looks like a pad.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby tastrax » Sun 22 Dec, 2019 4:09 pm

Listmap Bookmark for 'Bushwalkers Fires 2019-2020

https://maps.thelist.tas.gov.au/listmap ... kId=445500
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby ILUVSWTAS » Sun 22 Dec, 2019 5:04 pm

Starting around the same time as last year....

Let's hope the TFS and PWS learnt the hard lessons from last year and get them under control before the next hot spell.

The Twelvetrees range fire should at least be easily accessed.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Sun 22 Dec, 2019 5:43 pm

Does anyone know if the TFS remote firefighters are still suspended due to safety breaches last season?

I read that the suspension was meant to be lifted by summer but have not heard anything since.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby tastrax » Sun 22 Dec, 2019 9:23 pm

I dont see anything in their media releases - http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId=colMediaReleases

Looks like they are still training - http://www.fire.tas.gov.au/Show?pageId= ... ases#79691
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby Drew » Wed 01 Jan, 2020 10:02 am

I'm planning to start a Western Arthurs walk this Friday but now I'm monitoring the Strathgordon fire and unsure what to do. Gordon River Road was closed but is now open again, so at this stage there is access to Scott's Peak Dam. I just spoke to the visitor centre at Mount Field and they advise reconsidering the trip. They suggest dropping in to talk to rangers on Friday.

The fire is a very long way from the range but not that far from the only road in and out. A long planned and much anticipated trip but perhaps we should just take our 8 days of food and go elsewhere (Walls of Jerusalem maybe).

Interested to hear views of others.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby CBee » Wed 01 Jan, 2020 10:29 am

Have a plan B and C, IMO. Pity if you have to change plan because the weather would be just perfect.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby Drew » Wed 01 Jan, 2020 1:43 pm

CBee wrote:Have a plan B and C, IMO. Pity if you have to change plan because the weather would be just perfect.


Yeah weather does look good for walking! Of course if there was some rain in the outlook then I wouldn't be so concerned about the fires...

Doing some reading about Du Cane Range and Walls for backup plans. When I visited Pine Valley while doing the Overland I sure liked the look of the Du Cane area so it could be a good alternative.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby CBee » Wed 01 Jan, 2020 3:36 pm

Doing some reading about Du Cane Range

Truly spectacular area and amazing camping spots in fine weather. To me, a premium hiking area once you leave the crowded valley bottoms.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby Drew » Wed 01 Jan, 2020 5:57 pm

CBee wrote:
Doing some reading about Du Cane Range

Truly spectacular area and amazing camping spots in fine weather. To me, a premium hiking area once you leave the crowded valley bottoms.


Mmm, and it does look like good weather... Do you know what map covers Du Cane? Looks like there's a 1:25000 that's only print on demand. I think I'd want something better than the 1:100,000 Overland map that I have!
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby CBee » Wed 01 Jan, 2020 8:23 pm

Tasmap has 1:25 of Du Cane and you can buy digital and print on waterproof paper, this is what I would do. But you should ask here to local tasmanian hikers they will come up with more options for sure.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby TentPeg » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 9:54 am

Western Arthurs seems very safe to me. Any conditions that would make it dangerous will apply anywhere on a multi-day walk in Tassie. Rain due in about a week.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby Drew » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 10:02 am

TentPeg wrote:Western Arthurs seems very safe to me. Any conditions that would make it dangerous will apply anywhere on a multi-day walk in Tassie. Rain due in about a week.


Thanks TentPeg. It's not the risk of fires on the range that concerns me (as you say, same risk of that as anywhere else), but the fact that there is a fire already burning in the vicinity of the only road in and out. I'm only guessing, but with west-north west winds blowing, couldn't the Strathgordon fire conceivably get to Gordon River Road? We don't want to find ourselves stuck at Scotts Peak Dam at the end of the walk.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby TentPeg » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 3:22 pm

Not likely at all. I'm into the Franklands tomorrow and the road is the least of my worries.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby Drew » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 5:40 pm

TentPeg wrote:Not likely at all. I'm into the Franklands tomorrow and the road is the least of my worries.


The ranger I spoke to this arvo was more positive. Said they weren't discouraging people from going to the area. Will check in again tomorrow but looks like we'll be going ahead at this stage. I'll have to plan another trip for Du Cane!
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby CBee » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 8:44 pm

Drew, I'll be going up the Warthurs not long after you. Would you PM me after your trip with a report?
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby Drew » Thu 02 Jan, 2020 8:52 pm

Yep, can do CBee.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby CBee » Fri 03 Jan, 2020 2:47 pm

Thanks Drew.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby north-north-west » Sat 04 Jan, 2020 7:00 am

It's been odd here, the last couple of days since I got back.
Not much blue sky but not much cloud either, just smoke haze. Can only be from the Pelham/Elderslie/Broadmarsh or Collinsvale fires - what's going on in the SW is too far away with too little wind to produce this.

Welcome to the new normal.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019/2020

Postby lefroy » Sun 05 Jan, 2020 4:58 pm

BOM had reported the smoke as blowing over from the NSW fires! Couldn't see much smoke in the SW from up on Mt Field W today tho...
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 06 Jan, 2020 8:01 am

Visibility in the Tamar Valley on Saturday morning was down to around 200m where I live, due to smoke.

There were no Tasmanian fires blowing smoke in our direction, so it must have been from the mainland fires... SA, VIC &/or NSW.

Still a little smokey today, but nothing like it was on Saturday.

PS. Here's a photo of it on Saturday morning. The outer suburb/town of Dilston is usually visible directly in front there, on the other side of the Tamr. But we couldn't see the other side at all, let alone the hills and mountains that are usually visible further east.

I did have itchy eyes and throat much of Saturday. I can't imagine what it must be like to be nearer to those fires.

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Mainland smoke in the Tamar Valley, Tasmania
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby Nuts » Mon 06 Jan, 2020 9:16 am

A bit surprised to see a haze in the mountains today (I'd assume it's a smoke haze at this time):

Screen Shot 2020-01-06 at 10.13.27 am.png
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby johnw » Mon 06 Jan, 2020 10:12 am

lefroy wrote:BOM had reported the smoke as blowing over from the NSW fires! Couldn't see much smoke in the SW from up on Mt Field W today tho...

Son of a Beach wrote:Visibility in the Tamar Valley on Saturday morning was down to around 200m where I live, due to smoke.

There were no Tasmanian fires blowing smoke in our direction, so it must have been from the mainland fires... SA, VIC &/or NSW.

Still a little smokey today, but nothing like it was on Saturday.

Nothing surprises me anymore. I'm sure Tassie has been getting smoke from all of them. There have been media reports of Queenstown New Zealand being affected by smoke from our fires.
We are not too far, relatively speaking, from the Green Wattle Creek inferno. It has been lightly raining ash and burnt leaves for weeks now with perennial smoke, frequently causing stinging eyes and laboured breathing. I shudder to think of how it is impacting people in the direct path of the fires. Saturday was very bad, but it's much cooler and very little smoke here this morning.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby Drew » Fri 10 Jan, 2020 9:25 am

The ranger I spoke to this arvo was more positive. Said they weren't discouraging people from going to the area. Will check in again tomorrow but looks like we'll be going ahead at this stage. I'll have to plan another trip for Du Cane!


Our Western Arthurs walk went ahead as planned. Smokey on Saturday morning with NW winds (Jan 4) but once on the range the wind shifted to very strong SW with rain. No more smoke for the rest of the walk. I'm very glad to have been able to visit such an amazing place. I feel like every walk should be savoured now as it seems likely that so many of our beloved wild places will burn in coming years (as my usual Vic high country spots are burning now) and possibly be damaged irreversibly.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 13 Jan, 2020 6:08 am

This is about all the fires, and has an interesting comment about Tasmanian arson, much higher than on the mainland, where lighting strikes cause a lot of fires.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-11/ ... e/11855022
"Tasmania is the only state where arson has allegedly been the overwhelming cause of fires.

"Authorities attributed almost two-thirds of the blazes burning on the state's east coast and in the south since late December to arson."
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby north-north-west » Mon 13 Jan, 2020 6:55 am

Lophophaps wrote:"Authorities attributed almost two-thirds of the blazes burning on the state's east coast and in the south since late December to arson."


As far as I know, all the fires in and around the Fingal Valley were started by the same person/group. That accounts for the majority of the fire activity on the east coast, covering something like 20,000 hectares. Minor compared to the devastation occuring on the mainland, and to what we had last year.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 13 Jan, 2020 10:26 am

NNW, interesting, thanks for details. The following are made up figures. If there are 1000 fires on the mainland and 10 are arson, that is not much in percentage. If Tassie has 50 fires and eight are lit by arson that's a lot, but the nuance that seven of the eight are from one person or group needs to be considered.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby ghosta » Sat 18 Jan, 2020 7:52 pm

Lighting fires in the bush in Tasmania has never been seen as a particularly serious offence and until recent years was rarely investigated by Police... pretty much treated like littering.

Totally different attitude by the public on the mainland where arson has always been taboo.

Probably a reflection of the damage fires do under much more adverse fire weather conditions generally on the mainland.
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Re: Bushfire Season 2019-20 Tasmania

Postby tastrax » Fri 31 Jan, 2020 4:25 pm

This is why fires go wacko on wind changes - check out the temperatures and the Relative Humidities!

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