Firebug hampers efforts to control Tassie blaze
CREWS urgently battling to contain bushfires in the North-East before Thursday's "potentially catastrophic" weather are being frustrated with new fires suspected of being deliberately lit.
For the past three days, crews have been fighting a large bushfire that was encroaching on the township of Mathinna, inland from Scamander.
Five helicopters, at least five tankers, personnel carriers and rescue vehicles were today battling the blaze that has now burnt more than 1200ha of bushland.
The Mathinna fire is under investigation of being deliberately lit.
SES Regional Chief (North) Ian Bounds said new fires started today nearby at Calders Gully Rd, Mangana, were causing valuable resources to be diverted.
"Disappointingly, we've had new starts in Calders Gully Road, which is just southwest of the current fire," Mr Bounds said.
"It is believed to have been a multiple ignition of a deliberate nature."
Temperatures are expected to reach the mid to low-30s on Thursday through the Central Plateau and East Coast with northwesterly winds reaching 40-50km/h.
"We'll be increasing the resourcing not only to that fire, but also down through the valley and the East Coast for [Thursday], ahead of the expected severe … potentially catastrophic conditions."
There are currently advice level alerts for both the Mathinna and Mangana fires.
Mr Bounds urged members of the public with credible information that might assist TFS investigations to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.