Plan to reopen roads when safe
Emergency services and other State Government Agencies are working to assess the safety of bushfire-affected roads so that road closures can be lifted as soon as possible.
We are aware that communities are being affected by the road closures and that this is having an impact on businesses, schools and individuals. The situation will be resolved as soon as possible to return affected communities to normality.
The public has been very understanding of the situation and we appreciate their support during this challenging period. However, it is important to note that even when an environment may appear safe, there could be other risks that are not clearly evident that need close consideration.
A number of roads across the state are still considered unsafe and are closed as a result of factors such as:
- Dangerous driving conditions because of smoke, debris, escaped animals;
- Electrical or infrastructure damage;
- Trees that are still standing with potential to fall;
- Burnt and partially burnt trees and obstructions, and;
- The need for further assessment in relation to unidentified damage.
While road surfaces are not often damaged as a result of fire, there is still a large amount of potential damage to be assessed and repaired as necessary to ensure roads are safe.
These repairs can include:
- Re-instatement of mandatory warning signs;
- Repairs to culverts/bridgeworks; and
- Power poles.
Road assessments can only be made when that section of road has been declared safe through expert advice.
In addition, affected areas are still subject to active fire and may still require intermittent road closures to further ensure the safety of the public.
In response, the Southern Regional Emergency Management Committee, is:
- Dedicating resources from Tasmania Police, Tasmania Fire Service, other State Government Agencies, local councils and road owners to coordinate and prioritise the rapid impact assessment of relevant roads and relevant fire danger, ensuring they are reopened as soon as practicable and when safe to do so.
- Making sure this information is disseminated as soon as possible through the TasAlert network.
- Liaising with relevant people who may be affected by ongoing road closures to attempt to provide normality by other means.
Emergency services continue to ask that the community remains patient. We must be confident that roads are safe before they can be opened to the public. We have not lost anyone yet and we want to keep it that way.
Southern Regional Emergency Management Committee
Regional Controller, Commander Tony Cerritelli