News

Thousands take refuge after Tasmanian bushfires

TERRIBLE SIGHT: A house damaged by a bushfire is seen from a helicopter in Dunalley, Tasmania, yesterday.
TERRIBLE SIGHT: A house damaged by a bushfire is seen from a helicopter in Dunalley, Tasmania, yesterday. CHRIS KIDD

THOUSANDS of people have taken refuge in emergency accommodation and authorities have started a huge clean-up operation following devastating bush fires in Tasmania.

Firefighters managed to gain some control over the worst of the fires on the weekend but not before the flames destroyed more than 100 buildings in the state's south.

The structures, including an RSL and a school, were burnt down in towns scattered along the Tasman Peninsula, east of Hobart.

Authorities told reporters on Sunday they were still trying to verify whether there had been any fatalities, including if a man died while trying to protect his Dunalley home from bush fire.

"We're hoping very much along with everyone else that there won't be any deaths but we need to go through the process to confirm that there hasn't been," Tasmania Acting Police Commissioner Scott Tilyard told media.

Firefighters are still battling blazes at Forcett and Lake Repulse. Personnel from the NSW Rural Fire Service and Victorian Country Fire Authority began arriving in Tasmania on Sunday to relieve staff and volunteers on the ground.

There were reports residents had taken refuge on beaches and along the coastline with some private boat owners performing rescues.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced emergency financial assistance would be available to fire victims, many of whom are staying in emergency accommodation.

Residents will be able to apply for up to $8750 in funding for immediate assistance, temporary living, household goods and replacements.

Ms Gillard is reportedly planning to visit Tasmania this week.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts temperatures up to 27 degrees for Hobart on Monday coupled with light south easterly winds.

The Insurance Council of Australia has formally declared the worst-affected areas in Tasmania as catastrophe zones.

ICA chief executive officer Rob Whelan said the catastrophe declaration meant insurers had established a taskforce to escalate the industry's response.

"It is much too early for the ICA to estimate the cost and extent of the damage, though we have had reports of several dozen homes having been badly damaged or destroyed," he said.

"The ICA expects to send a team to the disaster recovery centre tomorrow to work alongside emergency services, government agencies and community organisations to help.

"Insurers are greatly concerned about fires that continue to affect several regions of Tasmania. They are also monitoring conditions in other states, in particular South Australia, Victoria and Queensland, which face extreme bushfire risks."

Topics:  bushfires tasmania



Could Goodna trio be world's dumbest crims?

WATCHING: Police used a Safe City Camera to monitor suspects.

Safe City camera was watching activities of suspects

School to open with no student bus service

STALLED: A designated school bus service is not in place for a school opening at Bellbird Park.

New Bellbird Park Secondary College students left high and dry

Worst passengers: Are you one of these monsters?

Oh great, this guy is on my flight

This is why politicians fly first class.

Local Partners

Married at First Sight: M'boro dad to feature on reality TV

LOOKING FOR LOVE: Farmer Sean Hollands, 35, from Maryborough will feature on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

A bull riding accident put everything into perspective for Sean.

Your guide to a great night out in Ipswich

Blue Suede will play Brothers Leagues Club on Sunday.

Here's the latest on the the city's live music scene

Spy trio hitting studio in 2017

GUITAR POP: Brisbane three-piece Dave is a Spy is made up of Fin Taylor, Sarah Bellamy and James Halpert.

Brisbane three-piece set for second EP

Your chance to drive like Magnum P.I.

Tom Selleck in Magnum P.I. with his trusty 'side-kick' Ferrari.

FERRARI that appeared on classic detective show goes to auction.

Ocean Sleeper discuss being 'Six Feet Down'.

Ocean Sleeper make waves with their new EP. Photo Contributed

Gippsland band shines at Unify

Bowie's final music EP No Plan released

NEW: Artwork for David Bowie's posthumous 2016 EP, No Plan.

David Bowie's 28th and final album

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!