Authorities have issued a watch and act message for communities in Tasmania’s North East as images emerge from the blaze. UPDATES + PICTURES AND VIDEO >>
Tasmania Fire Service has issued a watch and act message for communities in Tasmania’s North East.
The message has been issued for communities around Lebrina, about 35kms north east of Launceston.
“This fire is expected to impact Lebrina (within) the next two hours, a TFS warning read
“The fire is travelling South East, towards 310 Pipers Brook Road, Pipers Brook.
“The fire is expected to be difficult to control.”
“Embers, smoke and ash may fall on Lebrina.”
Tasmania Fire Service and Sustainable Timber Tasmania crews are in attendance and they expect changing conditions.
The area is host to numerous Tasmanian vineyards.
Tasmania Police is also on scene and have closed Pipers Brooke Road due to the fire and downed powerlines in the area and to avoid the area.
Nervous wait for vineyard owners
Vineyard owners in the state’s north east were watching closely as a bushfire burned at Lebrina, prompting the TFS to issue a watch and act warning.
The blaze was first reported after 3pm on Thursday, and elevated to a watch and act shortly after.
Co-owner of Brook Eden vineyard Annette Ferrero said the blaze was about two kilometres away from the vineyard.
“I can see thick grey brown smoke,” Ms Ferrero said.
“There’s two helicopters and a fixed wing small aircraft, they’re picking up water from the neighbour’s dam.
“The police are in the neighbourhood diverting traffic away from this valley and the power is off because the power lines near us are down.”
On Thursday Ms Ferrero said the blaze didn’t appear to be heading in their direction, but was wary things could change.
“It’s quite windy here as well so that’s also a concern, what the wind will do to fan the flames,” Ms Ferrero said.
“The wind could alter the direction of the fire.”
The vineyard owner said they were prepared to leave if they needed to.
“We have animals and also have a vineyard which in not far off harvest so I’d prefer not to leave if we can stay and protect things,” she said.
“If we have to we’ll go into Launceston but we’d have to take dogs and cats and chickens so I’m not sure where we’ll end up for tonight,” she said.
They were also preparing the property in case the situation got out of hand.
“We’re blocking up the gutters and we have a firefighting tank which has been filled,” she said.
“We can do some firefighting from here but we’re not professionals, we’d prefer to leave it to the professionals.”
Ms Ferrero said the blaze brought back memories of another fire which caused devastation.
“It’s scary for us because have had a major fire here before, but it wasn’t a bushfire, it was a structural fire in 2016, where we lost our cellar door building,” Ms Ferrero said.
“I feel quite emotional.
“I’m worried about potentially some of our neighbour’s homes which could be in the path of the bushfire.”
What to do (TFS.tas.gov.au):
- Take action now to protect yourself, your family, and your home.
- If you are not prepared for a bushfire, be ready to leave for a safer place.
- If you have made a bushfire plan, check it now.
- If you don’t live near Lebrina, stay away.
- For fire updates, listen to ABC Local Radio or visit the TFS website at fire.tas.gov.au.
Originally published as ‘Difficult to control’: Fire warning issued for Tasmania’s North East