Fires update at 10am
Monday, 7 January 2013 - 9:59am
Police have searched 245 properties in Dunalley and to the north of the town, including 90 badly damaged or destroyed buildings.
The preliminary screening search has discovered no deceased people at this stage.
About 65 police and other searchers will continue the work today south of Dunalley to the more densely forested Murdunna and Sommers Bay area. About 14 buildings have been destroyed at Sommers Bay.
Helicopter surveillance is assisting in assessing the damage of more remote areas.
There are about 110 residences in the Marion Bay/Copping area that are undamaged, and 45 residences at Dunalley undamaged.
There are many people who remain unaccounted for, and police urge people to register their details with the National Registration and Inquiry Service on 1800 727 077 or via www.redcross.org.au. This is important to enable police to cross-reference details of people and discount them as a potential concern for welfare where appropriate.
People evacuated from the Peninsula and collected by family and friends in Hobart, for example, are also urged to register to assist police in reconciling the register and obtaining an accurate picture of those who’ve been accounted for.
This applies to people who may have been on the Tasman Peninsula over the weekend and may have already returned to their homes either here or interstate.
Police, the Tasmania Fire Service and State Emergency Service conducted a public information session at Nubeena Recovery Centre last night, attended by about 500 people. Further sessions are being held this morning at Nubeena and the Port Arthur Historic Site.
Fuel supplies to the Tasman Peninsula are being organised today, while a controlled convoy of essential emergency services delivered equipment and resources to the area last night.
Fresh areas of the Arthur Highway have been affected by fire overnight, but police and other agencies are working hard to facilitate access when safe. The Arthur Highway remains closed at this time. It is hoped an escorted convoy of cars will be able to leave the Peninsula today. It must be remembered, however, that the fire in the area remains active and uncontrolled.
There is no indication at this stage that any of the fires in Tasmania were started intentionally. While investigations are still to be finalised into the cause of the Forcett fire, indications are at this stage it was accidental.
The Lake Repulse fire is believed to have been caused by an abandoned campfire, while the Bicheno fire was caused by lightning strike.
Tasmania Police Media & Communications
(03) 6230 2296