It’s been an absolutely brutal fire season around the country, and we are not even into full summer yet. Among the horror list of lost lives, homes and other infrastructure, millions of animals killed, damage to water catchments and farmland, there has also been devastating impacts on wild places.

Rainforest that ‘is not meant to burn’ has been on fire in northern NSW and QLD, the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains have been hammered, the Budawang Ranges in NSW have been badly burnt, and there are enormous and ‘not yet under control’ fires in the mountain foothills of East Gippsland.

While there were devastating fires in Tasmania last summer, so far, the mountains in that state have been spared fires. Perhaps the situation is now changing, with four fires in remote areas recently started through lightning strike. 

On saturday night (December 21), a cold front passed over Tasmania and ‘dry lightning’ started a number of fires in remote areas (dry lightning strikes have become a growing problem in Tasmania in recent years).


Four fires have been detected in remote areas of the state. These include:

  • Two fires north of Lake Gordon, one in the Prince of Wales Range (currently 38 ha in size) and one at Innes High Rocky, a remote range to the north of the Denison Range. It is listed as ‘Going’ and is being fought and currently 12 ha in size. Reports are that remote area firefighters are on site and that the area burning is largely button grass.
  • Two fires in the Twelve Trees Range near Strathgordon. One of these has now been contained. The other one, at Pearce Basin, is listed as being more than 700 ha in size.

Check the Tasmania Fire Service website for updates on the fires in Tasmania.


Approximately 21 PWS staff and 7 aircraft are working on the fires.

They are being patrolled and active hotspots are the focus of current suppression efforts.

At this stage no parks or reserves, including tracks have been closed.


The Parks Service reports that:

These fires were hit hard and fast by PWS remote area crews with assistance of air support. The proximity of water from the Gordon Dam assisted to quickly supress the fire activity.

As of 3pm yesterday, three of the fires (Twelve Tree; Prince of Wales Range; and Innes High Rocky) are showing no visible flame or smoke. The Pearce Basin fire still has hot spots of fire activity which is being addressed by firefighters.

All of the Strathgordon fires will have further infra-red scans today to confirm if any hot or active fires remain.

All fires are allocated “No Alert” status on the TFS Web site.

The four fires in the Strathgordon area have resulted in an area of approximately 835 hectares burnt.

Bushwalkers planning to walk in the South West and West of Tasmania need to be vigilant for fires and smoke from lightning strikes that occurred on Saturday the 21 December 2019. Lightning fires can lay dormant in the ground for several days prior to detection.

For information on current road closures, please visit the Tasmania Police website:

The Image used as a header is of previously burnt button grass near Lake Ball, Central Plateau, TAS.