An emergency bushfire warning has been issued for George Town in northern Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Fire Service (TFS) said the uncontrolled fire was affecting Marguerite Street, Alfred Street and Mount George Road.
The alert said the fire could put lives in danger and destroy homes, and residents should leave now.
If a route to a safer place is not available, residents should shelter inside until the fire passes.
The TFS advises residents not to try to return if they are out of the area.
An evacuation centre has been established in the town centre at the memorial hall in Macquarie Street.
George Town Council general manger Justine Brooks-Bidelph said the affected roads were not densely populated.
“However, there are houses there and its still a situation we have to be very, very careful with, but it’s is a low-density area,” she said.
A decision to evacuate houses has not been made by emergency services but Ms Brooks-Bidelph said the council was ready to assist.
Anthony Bishop who works at a nearby hardware store said crews had been working all afternoon to try to control the blaze.
“The fire brigade have been going constantly for the last hour from the station to the site which is only about half a kilometre from the shop here,” he said.
“We got two helicopters flying about dragging water with their suspension bags.”