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This Summer Snow Should Help Put Out The Tassie Bushfires

It snows once or twice every summer in Tasmania, but this is particularly good timing.

Fires which were originally sparked by dry lightning strikes in late January have been raging for several weeks now, and there's plenty of bad news to report.

While only a few houses have been lost in the fires, vast areas of wilderness have burned, many of them containing rare mountain plant communities that -- unlike mainland Eucalypt forests -- do not recover well from fire events.

But there's a silver lining. Actually, making that more of a white lining. As mentioned, it snowed today.

Mount Mawson ski field -- a tiny, club-run operation near Hobart with three very old-fashioned "rope tow" ski lifts -- posted this view of one of its ski runs today partially covered in unseasonal snow.

Meanwhile a webcam at Mount Mawson's public shelter had an informative  caption at the bottom.

Someone's got a sense of humor. Pic: www.mtmawson.info

While only a few centimetres of snow fell in this cold southerly outbreak, it was enough to help keep any remaining fires in check.

You can view the current status of the fires on the map below, or here at the Tasmania Fire Service site.

There were also a few flakes at Mt Baw Baw in Victoria, just two hours from Melbourne, this morning. But it was barely enough to make the ground white.