The following update has been provided by Nigel Dravitzki. Nigel (replacing Tim Mitchell in Tasmania) is the New Zealand Liaison for the National Rural Fire Authority during this deployment.
Big days in a challenging environment
Our crews are encountering ‘big days’ in a challenging environment. However, the team continues to get stuck in and their efforts were missed whilst they were on R&R.
The NZ Vs. Aust. cricket win on 3 February provided ample opportunity to jokingly tease our
Australian colleagues. The series win was the icing on the cake!
There have been no further arrivals/departures within our deployment to date. However, there has been a request for another two NZ taskforces to join the deployment (which has been made to National Rural Fire Officer) and has been accepted.
Fire Situation Overview
(1030 hours) Tuesday 9th February 2016
State-wide 73 fires remain active:
- 26 are currently going, uncontained and/or uncontrolled (note: these are switching between status periodically)
- 47 are in patrol
- there are currently no emergency warnings or watch and act alerts.
To date 110,212 hectares of land has been burnt. The current fires have an approximate perimeter of 815.4 km. Several fires remain unmapped. The only fire still with a running front is the Wuthering Heights fire. Hot spots remain for the majority of other fires.
Short term outlook
- A large stable high is moving over Tasmania for the next four days.
- A weak cold front is predicted to pass on Wednesday, 10 February.
- 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 (Tuesday, 09 February) it will be difficult to predict fire behaviour.
- There is a high fire danger in the Derwent Valley.
Longer term outlook
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.
Where are the crews working?
The current full deployment is being well lead in the field by Dave Newton (Taskforce Team leader: North) and John Rasmussen (Taskforce team leader: South). All of the teams are in good spirits and are keeping personal safety as their highest priority.
New Zealand crews continue to work from the Strathgordon Complex and Arthur River Complex, mainly on the Lake Gordon and Wuthering Heights Fires respectively.
Both deployment teams have had some well-earned time off over the past couple of days (7/8 February).
The Southern crew (based at Strathgordon), enjoyed their R&R in Hobart. After catching up on sleep, members of the crew visited local cafes and ‘lemonade stands’, and took the opportunity to visit the Mona art gallery (see picture below), and visit the Hobart races. Some crew members even managed to squeeze in a spot of fishing.
The crew operating up north also had a change of scenery, by visiting Devonport. The team at the State Fire Operations Centre compiled a comprehensive list of ‘Things to Do in Devonport’. This list included: visiting nature parks, museums, shopping spots, sights and landmarks, tours and activities, outdoor activities and Nightlife.
However, this list may have been a little misleading, as from all reports it’s a very small and quiet town. But, everyone seemed to have enjoyed the break and they also headed back to the Arthurs River Complex a couple of hours away.