Large wildfire in Tasmania sends smoke into Hobart

The fire near Gell River has burned over 37,000 acres

A large wildfire that started in the Gell River area in the Australian state of Tasmania has burned more than 37,000 acres (15,000 Ha) mostly in the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. The fire is approaching Lake Rhona and Gordon River and has sent embers into Mount Field National Park. The blaze was burning button grass but has moved into timber and peat areas, which could result in it persisting for months.

Dense smoke that spread toward the southeast heavily impacted Hobart as you can see in this satellite photo.

Tasmania Fire Gell River
Wildfire in southwest Tasmania that started near Gell River, currently burning in Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park. The red dots indicate heat detected by the satellite. Photo, January 4, 2018.

Paul Black of the Parks and Wildlife Service said, “We’ll be considering further retardant drops, back-burning operations, a lot of water bombing, and hot and cold trailing of the active edge of the fire.”

Clouds and cooler weather moved in and slowed the spread of the fire on January 4.

smoke Hobart Tasmania Fire Gell River
Wildfire smoke from the Gell River Fire impacts Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. Photo by Olivia Hicks.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.