Raw video footage:
From WA Today:
AT LEAST 80 homes have been lost and one man is feared killed by a bushfire that swept down onto the eastern Tasmanian town of Dunalley in catastrophic conditions. The bushfire sent hundreds fleeing and was on Friday night still burning down the Tasman Peninsula, taking more properties as it went.
The man, a local resident, was last seen by a fire crew attempting to save his house as they were forced to shelter in their vehicle when the fire burnt over them, acting police commissioner Scott Tilyard said.
Extraordinary events, with people fleeing to the sea in order to be rescued:
The Dunalley fire began on Thursday in bushland about 20 kilometres to the north-west of the town and swept out of containment lines on Friday afternoon fanned by strong winds.
It was burning to the sea at several points and also had taken properties at Connolly’s Marsh and Murdunna, local reports said.
Acting Premier Bryan Green said the state government was preparing emergency accommodation, with a report that 600 people were sheltering at one refuge site.
”This has been an extraordinary day,” Mr Green said.
He said around 50 people were awaiting the arrival of police boats to help them leave the waterfront near the top of the Tasman Peninsula where they had taken refuge.
The Tasman Peninsula, including the popular Port Arthur tourist destination, was completely cut off by the closure of the major Arthur Highway.
About 600 people were taking refuge at temporary accommodation at Nubeena and 1500 people were reported to have visited the Port Arthur convict ruins on Friday.