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Tired crews brace for another day of danger

DESTROYED: A section of bush incinerated by the intense heat of the fire. Picture: Grant Wells.SEVERAL North-West communities could face a fire threat on Tuesday if predicted strong south-westerly winds eventuate and a blaze at Mawbanna breaks containment lines.
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North-westerly winds worked in the favour of multi-agency teams fighting the fire at Mawbanna on Monday, but the direction is expected to change on Tuesday.

The south-westerly change could cause dangers for the communities of Meunna, Milabena, Lapoinya, Myalla and Preolenna.

Tasmania Fire Service station officer John Holloway said hundreds of firefighters would be working to build containment lines at the Mawbanna blaze on Tuesday.

Mawbanna fire aftermath. Pic: Grant Wells

Mr Holloway said the south-westerly winds would put the north-eastern flank of the Pipeline Road fire under threat, which would require extra resources to maintain containment lines.

The fire was upgraded to a watch and act alert on Sunday but was downgraded to advice level a few hours later.

Air and ground crews undertook suppression activities throughout the night.

“There were strong south-westerly winds on Sunday which made it quite smoky around Meunna, Milabena, Lapoinya, Myalla and Preolenna,” Mr Holloway said.

“We were expecting rain down that way. We are always hoping for rain.

“The volunteers are feeling fatigued, so we will bring new resources in,” he said.

“Our community liaison officers have been speaking with residents to discuss property protection and what the best course of action is for each person.”

Mawbanna fire aftermath. Pic: Grant Wells

He said multi-agency crews would continue to build solid containment lines.

“We are not actively extinguishing at the moment. We will need a significant amount of rain before these fires can be fully extinguished.”

The fires have burnt about 57,800 hectares and has a perimeter of 355 kilometres.

The Advocate, Tasmania

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