Gillard visits Tasmania as bushfires burn

Prime Minister Julia Gillard met Tasmanian Fire Service officials battling the state’s devastating bushfires this morning as authorities prepared a convoy to get supplies into the cut-off Tasman Peninsula.

Police have done preliminary searches of almost 250 burnt-out properties in the worst-hit areas on the Tasman Peninsula and say no bodies have been found.

About 65 people will today sift through the remains of buildings and cars, concentrating on the more densely-forested area south of Dunalley to Murdunna and Sommers Bay.

The Prime Minister spoke to fire authorities at their Cambridge headquarters, in Hobart’s east, this morning and is expected to tour Dunalley later today.

Rising temperatures and strengthening winds have prompted the Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) to issue new warnings for people at Dodges Ferry and White Beach, in the state’s south-east.

TFS spokesman Phil Douglas says there is no immediate threat, but affected communities need to be alert between now and midday.

“What we’re asking people to do is for those people who are around the Dodges Ferry Fire Station and north of the Dodges Ferry Fire Station through to the junction at Forcett with the Arthur Highway, all those people to remain alert,” he said.

Courtesy: ABC News, Australia

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