No let up for Australian fire crews

01:22, Jan 10 2013
Tasmaniabush fire
A fire at Tasmania's Forcett, 30km from Hobart, sends smoke over Park Beach.
Tasmaniabush fire
Fire burning near Dodges Ferry, a small town in south eastern Tasmania.
Tasmaniabush fire
The settlement of Dunalley, about 40 kilometres east of Hobart, was one of the worst hit by the Tasmanian bush fires.
Tasmaniabush fire
Police Rescue Helicopter crewman Matthew Drumm looks out at the destruction.
Australia heatwave 2013
Exercise groups train at sunrise to beat the heat on Sydney's Bronte Beach as temperatures are expected to reach record highs.
Australia heatwave 2013
Water bombing at Oura, near Wagga Wagga. New South Wales faces its worst fire risk with temperatures predicted to hit the mid to high 40s.
Australia heatwave 2013
Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons (C) at the State Operation Centre.
Australian heat
Kutchani, a female lion, eats a frozen milk iceblock at Sydney's Taronga Zoo.
Australian heatwave
Smoke rises from the Yarrabin bushfire burning out of control near Cooma, south of Canberra.
Australia heatwave
A bush fire burning near Cooma, south of Canberra.
clothesline
Singed clothes hang from a clothesline in a backyard affected by a bushfire at Boomer Bay, about 40 kilometres east of Hobart.
Australia heatwave
Fire crossing Princes Highway at Deans Gap fire in Shoalhaven, southern NSW.
Australia heatwave
A deserted petrol station, close to a fire south west of Wandandian, NSW.
Australia heatwave
NSW Rural Fire Service crews tackle a deliberately lit bushfire near Bidwill in Sydney's west.
Australia heatwave
Carngham Station, in Victoria, was destroyed in the state's bushfires.
Australia heatwave
A fireman working on flames near Ballarat, Victoria.
Australia heatwave
NSW Rural Fire Service crews water-bombing fires at Bungendore.
Australia heatwave
'Mopping-up" spot fires at Sandhills in Bungendore, Australia.
Australia fires
An aerial photo of the fire threatening the Siding Springs Observatory.
Australia fires
The fire moves in on the observatory in Siding Springs, in rural NSW.
Australia fires
The Siding Spring Observatory the morning after the fire swept through.
Australia fires
Several buildings at the Siding Spring Observatory were damaged.
Australia bushfires
A fire danger sign on the Hume Highway between Sydney and Melbourne gives a grim warning to locals.
NSW fire at Coonabarabran
Fire burns alongside the Newell Highway near Coonabarabran, about 350km northwest of Sydney.
Australia bush fires
A children's playground destroyed by the massive bushfire in rural New South Wales.
Australia bush fires
Robina and Felicity Otrupcek standing in front of Robina's home that was water-bombed and remained unscathed as fire burnt through the New South Wales property.
Australia bush fires
The changed landscape of Baradine Road at Coonabarabran, which was hit by one of New South Wales' worst bushfires in history.
victoria bush fires
Trying to keep cool at the Big Day Out in Sydney.
victoria bush fires
Crowds at Wanda Beach as temperatures begin to fall in Sydney.
victoria bush fires
Swimmers and sun bathers at Victoria Park Pool, in Sydney's Glebe.
victoria bush fires
Sydneysiders cool off in Botany Bay near Yarra Bay.
victoria bush fires
Frantic efforts to damp down properties as the fire approaches.
victoria bush fires
Firefighers battling a bushfire in Aberdare, New South Wales.
Ku-Ring-Gai
A fire burns in Ku-Ring-Gai National Park, north of Sydney.

More than 100 bushfires are still burning along Australia's east coast, as Tasmanian police prepare to let people who fled weekend fires in the state return home.

The fire risk moved north to Queensland over the last two days, though the southeast is expected to be hit by another heatwave over the weekend.

Firefighters spent last night trying to get bushfires on Bribie Island, north of Brisbane, under control.

Sixteen crews have stayed at the scene to strengthen containment lines.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Meteorology said thunderstorms expected in the western part of the state would do little to reduce the state's fire threat.

A spokesman said temperatures were expected to top 30 degrees Celsius across the state and climb over 40C in the west.

In Tasmania, authorities hope to let people evacuated at the weekend from massive fires, return home tomorrow.

Police said they were looking to stagger the return in the worst-hit areas.

Twelve New Zealand firefighters have arrived in Australia and were preparing to help fight the raging bush fires in Tasmania.

Two crews of six, one from the Waimea Rural Fire Authority, flew out yesterday after a request for assistance from Tasmanian fire agencies.

National Rural Fire Officer Murray Dudfield said they arrived in Hobart last night and were to be met by their hosts and taken to their accommodation.

"Today, they'll spend the morning having an induction to the environment that they will be working in, understanding what's been going on in Tasmania in the last 10 days."

After that they would be deployed out of Hobart with an incident management team, he said.

It would not be known until probably tomorrow where the New Zealanders would be sent, Dudfield said.

In New South Wales, fire crews have been back-burning overnight to try to contain several major bushfires, taking advantage of the cool temperature before hot, windy weather sets in again.

There were 126 bushfires burning across the state, including 15 that were not contained.

More than 1000 Rural Fire Service volunteers were on the ground, using more than 80 firefighting aircraft and 360 trucks.

RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons said firefighters were trying to contain the blazes before dangerous fire conditions returned tomorrow.

"When you've got more hot air dominating much of the state, which is already very dry, and vegetation is highly susceptible to ignition and spread of any existing fire, that's a real challenge to firefighters," Fitzsimmons told Sky News.

Crews were back-burning at the Deans Gap fire in the Shoalhaven, on the state's south coast last night, but it had not been contained, he said.

That fire has burnt through more than 5700 hectares of land.

Firefighters also spent the night back-burning at a fire near Yass in the New South Wales southern tablelands, to establish and strengthen containment lines around the blaze, which had burnt through 14,000 hectares and killed thousands of animals.

- Fairfax and AAP

Advertisement