AN out of control bushfire is threatening Australia's largest temperate rainforest in Tasmania's northwest.
At least 8000ha have been burnt out in the Tarkine rainforest, bordering the Donaldson River and the Toner River near Mount Bolton, 38km west of Waratah.
Tasmania Fire Service spokesman Danny Reid said more than 6000ha were destroyed in the forest, home to rare fauna, yesterday afternoon. "The fire is still going - it's quite an active fire and because of where it is," Mr Reid said. "Just the nature of the country, it's going to remain active for quite some time yet until we get some significant changes in the weather. "
Dr Phil Pullinger, president of the Tarkine National Coalition, said yesterday the area was recognised as world heritage significance. "The Tarkine is home to more than 60 rare, threatened species," Dr Pullinger said. "So it is a really important area for wildlife and ... we're very worried about what this fire might do."
The Tarkine Rainforest was protected in a conservation reserve by the federal and Tasmanian governments in 2005.
Meanwhile, 15 fires, including three other out of control bushfires, are keeping firefighters busy. A bushfire at Glenmark, 3km east of Dee Lagoon in central Tasmania, has burnt through 1200ha. The fires have taken their their toll on Hobart residents, as smoke hangs over the city, irritating asthma sufferers, Mr Reid said. "We had a pretty humid night last night so the smoke sort of laid down and didn't lift," Mr Reid said. "We had smoke over the city of Hobart all through the night from the fires. "People who suffer asthma or respiratory difficulties probably would have been a bit distressed last night." Mr Reid said the smoke was expected to clear over Hobart later today. "If we get the southerly change today which they are predicting, it will blow away the smoke and lift it," he said. "It's one of those things we can't do much about."
Bron: The Australian