Firefighters are continuing their efforts to contain and control three main bushfires burning across Tasmania that remain on a watch-and-act alert.

The largest fire started at Molesworth, north-west of Hobart, and was on emergency alert for much of Thursday, but was later downgraded.

Winds strengthened through Thursday afternoon, fanning the fire closer to homes and pushing flames on two fronts, to the west and the east.

Shannon Fox from the Tasmanian Fire Service says the danger is not over yet.

"The fire is not contained, and it's not controlled. We've stil got a fire danger rating of very high," she said.

The latest warnings from the

Fire service spokesman Mark Klop said on Thursday the fire's danger was heightened by the lack of escape routes.

"The roads are very poor roads, very tight corners and very inaccessible for fire crews once it gets smoky," he said.

He said it had been almost impossible to cut fire trails.

"We cannot get machinery or fire crews into the ravines or the sharp, rocky cliff areas. We're heavily relying on helicopters," he said.

A water bombing helicopter crashed in steep terrain earlier on Thursday.

The man escaped from the crash site and was flown to the Royal Hobart Hospital. Police say he was shaken, but not seriously hurt.

A refuge centre has been set up at Hobart's Derwent Entertainment Centre, and a centre in Blair Street at New Norfolk is also accepting evacuees.

The blaze has already destroyed several sheds and a caravan.

The Collinsvale and Molesworth primary schools will remain closed on Friday.

Lefroy fire

The fire burning in the north of the state, at Lefroy, has led to around 60 properties losing power.

The 70-hectare fire is no longer considered an emergency and is not threatening homes.

The blaze is burning towards open pasture, where crews are hoping it will be brought under control.

Fire service spokesman Ian Bounds said crews had been doorknocking in the area and evacuating residents earlier in the day.

He says air support has been helping ground crews to protect properties.

Fire Service spokesman Andrew McGuinness says it is not too late for residents to leave if that is their safest option.

"People need to assess that on an individual basis. If the path is clear and they can get out of the township then they should do that," he said.

"If their path isn't clear and the roads are closed then it's safer for them to stay put and seek protection in their properties."

Third blaze

The fire service also issued a watch-and-act warning for a bush fire burning out of control at Franklin in the Huon Valley.

There have been reports of cars and outbuildings destroyed along Braeside Road and fears the blaze would head towards the Huon Highway.

Authorities said the Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School at Geeveston would be closed on Friday.

 

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