UPDATE: ABOUT 1000 people have been rescued by boat from the bushfire-ravaged Tasman Peninsula in southern Tasmania.
Hundreds of people have been forced to flee to beaches in the area after a massive blaze destroyed around 80 properties, most in the small community of Dunalley 55 kilometers southeast of Hobart.
The ABC says a flotilla of police and local craft have picked up those trapped, some near popular tourist attraction Port Arthur, and ferried them to the capital.
Police say the communities of Dunalley, Boomer Bay, Forcett, Primrose Sands, Connellys Marsh and Susans Bay have been hardest hit.
Hobart's hottest day on record, with a top of 41.8C, created catastrophic conditions for fire and the temperature remained around 31C at midnight before a southerly change brought some relief to firefighters.
The blaze remains out of control and the Tasmanian Fire Service is warning residents of Eaglehawk Neck , including residents of Old Jetty Road, Pirates Bay Drive , the Arthur Highway and Blow Hole Road to activate bushfire plans and consider leaving for Pirates Bay Beach.