Homes under threat from Tasmanian bushfires in Australia

An undated aerial view of a large bushfire burning in Tasmania, Australia.
An undated aerial view of a large bushfire burning in Tasmania, Australia.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SYDNEY (XINHUA) - Bushfires in the Australian state of Tasmania threatened homes and property on Wednesday (Jan 23), with visitors being told to pay attention to advice before setting off.

Almost 50 fires are burning across the state with emergency warnings issued for six areas in the central region and the authorities confirming on Tuesday that one home has already been lost.

Crews have been battling blazes for much of the summer, including a major one near the Gell River which has so far scorched more than 20,000ha of wilderness.

Firefighting aircraft and specialist personnel from Australia and New Zealand have been sent to assist.

Tasmania is a popular destination for overseas tourists. State Tourism Council chief executive officer Luke Martin told Xinhua that so far disruptions were contained to more remote areas, with major tourist destinations on the east coast including state capital Hobart and Cradle Mountain remaining unaffected.

"Fires are isolated in some pretty remote parts at this stage," Martin said, adding that "people just need to be a bit mindful and take the advice on where to avoid once they're in the state".