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Smoky weekend looming


Worsening conditions have prompted fire authorities to have extra crews on standby in the Derwent Valley township of Maydena.

A total fire ban is in place for southern Tasmania today, with conditions set to spread to the midlands, central north and northwest areas tomorrow.

TFS Chief Officer Chris Arnol is warning residents to keep their radios on as the battle against the 20,500-hectare Gell River bushfire continues.

"There will be embers and the like that will be similar to last weekend...be vigilant with the warnings we provide, have bushfire plans in place," he said. 

"We will have a strong presence in that area again this weekend."

Two specialist fire fighters and two remote area paramedics from New South Wales are reinforcing 70 personnel and eight aircraft battling the blaze, which is now 20 kilometres northwest of Maydena.

Image: Hobart blanketed by smoke on Friday 4 January (Olivia Hicks).