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Fire in Cradle Mountain National Park


The northern section of the Overland Track will be closed from today until further notice due to a fire burning approximately 10 kilometres due west of Cradle Mountain.

Popular day walks near Cradle Mountain, including the Dove Lake Circuit, Enchanted Walk and Pencil Pine Falls Walk remain open, however daywalks beyond Hansons Peak and Marions Lookout are closed until further notice.

Walkers on the Overland Track south of Pelion Hut will be allowed to continue walking south towards Lake St Clair.

However, approximately 85 walkers north of Pelion Hut are being relocated to further south along the track by the Parks and Wildlife Service as a precautionary measure.

Parks and Wildlife Service Incident Controller at Cradle Mountain, Geoff Coles, said the fire originated in the Fury River Valley and started as a result of lightning on the evening of 15 January.

Mr Coles said the fire is approximately 85 hectares in size and not yet under control.

"For that reason it was thought to be prudent to relocate walkers along sections of the Overland Track until the fire can be contained," Mr Coles said.

When detected late yesterday afternoon an initial attack was made with water bombing helicopters. Fire fighting efforts recommenced at first light this morning with ground crews inserted by helicopter. To assist the ground crews water bombing will continue today.

Mr Coles said that given the forecast of light northerly winds and mild temperatures it is anticipated the fire will continue to move towards the Overland Track in the Barn Bluff to Windemere Hut area.

Forecast showers and light rain will assist fire fighting efforts.

"The risk posed by the fire to walkers within the Cradle Mountain - Lake St Clair National Park will be continually assessed and steps to protect visitors to the park will be taken as required," he said.

There are approximately 200 walkers in the national park at the moment. There will be no departures allowed for the Overland Track from today until further notice.

The Parks and Wildlife Service is contacting those walkers booked on the Overland Track, who will be affected by the temporary closure of some parts of the track.

The following tracks are closed until further notice:

Overland Track beyond Marions Lookout
Horse Track
Suttons Tarn
Cradle Peak
The Face Track
Twisted Lakes
Scott Kilvert Hut
Lake Rodway
Hounslow Heath
Reynolds Falls Track
Mount Remus Track
Mount Campbell

Further information on walking track closures can be obtained by calling (03) 64921133.

Updates on the fire can be obtained by visiting the Tasmania Fire Service website at www.fire.tas.gov.au