UPDATE: VICTORIA'S hero firefighter who lost his life battling the Tasmanian bushfires yesterday has been named.He has been named as 61-year-old Peter Ronald Cramer.
The Gippsland-based firefighter from the small town of Tyers - about 160km east of Melbourne - died while conducting backburning operations at Taranna, east of Hobart.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) firefighter was one of more than 70 Victorian emergency services workers sent to Tasmania to help fight the state's devastating blazes, which have destroyed more than 130 homes since January 4.
The Tasmanian and Victorian premiers have sent their condolences to his family.
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu says the state's sympathies and condolences are with those affected by Mr Cramer's death.
Mr Baillieu was advised last night regarding the "incredibly sad" development.
"Our thoughts are with his family, with his friends, with his colleagues. There will be some further announcements about that later this morning, and I don’t want to pre-empt any of that other than what has been released so far," he told 3AW.
"He was doing his job as a full-time firefighter, he had volunteered to support the effort of the Tasmanian fire fight and obviously with his experience he was a very valued member of the DSE firefighting effort."
Mr Baillieu said an investigation would be launched into reports the firefighter had been by himself when tragedy struck.
"I don’t want to pre-empt any of that, I think there’s still some investigations to take place in that regard," he said.
"I don’t know the detail and I think there’s still some work to be done. What has been publically indicated is that he was working away from the fire front examining areas where there might be some back burning."
Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings earlier sent her condolences to Mr Cramer's family.
"On behalf of all Tasmanians, I express my deepest condolences to this brave Victorian's loved ones," she said.
"I hope that his family can gain some comfort from the sincere gratitude we feel for his willingness to assist us during this bushfire crisis.
"I thank them, and our thoughts are with them at this most tragic of times.''
David Hamilton, president of the United Firefighters Union Victorian branch, said firefighters would be saddened by the loss of a colleague who was serving the community.
The demands on firefighters were not highlighted enough and Mr Cramer's death served as a reminder of the conditions that firefighters faced, particularly during bushfire season, he said.
"It needs to be understood that it's a fairly strenuous, tough activity, firefighting, and of course there are dangers and huge demands, both mental and physical," Mr Hamilton said.
"It's concerning and fire agencies need to manage firefighters in these fire danger times.
"These things can always be done better and if, unfortunately, these high dangers and situations are occurring, I think the agencies and government probably should look at managing it better or increasing firefighter numbers."
The firefighter had been working on foot to identify potential containment lines on the southern boundary of the Forcett fire, about 2-3 kilometres from the fire's edge.
We was found near Taranna, a hamlet on the Tasman Peninsula.
Police say there are no suspicious circumstances, but have not released a cause of death.
Tasmanian Emergency Services Minister David O'Byrne said bushfire victims and the man's colleagues would grieve at the loss.
"This tragedy will come as an immense blow to those many people who have done so much to not just protect lives and property, but work so hard to make someone else's life just that little better in the aftermath of such destruction,'' he said.
DSE Secretary Greg Wilson and Chief Fire Officer Alan Goodwin confirmed the death late last night.
"It is with deep regret that the Department of Sustainability and Environment can confirm that a DSE firefighter has died in Tasmania this afternoon where he was part of the Victorian contingent of firefighters sent to assist with the Tasmanian bushfires," Mr Wilson and Mr Goodwin said in a joint statement.
"The firefighter's family have been notified and no further personal details are available at this time."
DSE staff have been sent to Tasmania to support firefighters still on the ground.
They are also working with Tasmania Police and Tasmania Fire Service to assist in the investigation.
More than 60 Victorians went to Tasmania on New Year's Eve.
Police and Emergency Services Minister Peter Ryan said at the time Victoria was ready to help the island state during its time of need.
Mr Cramer's death came as fire crews made solid progress on consolidating containment lines around bushfires still burning ahead of higher fire danger conditions forecast for Thursday.
Tasmania Fire Service has issued an alert for the uncontained 24,040ha Forcett blaze, where 150 firefighters using 39 tankers and four aircraft continue working on the fire which has a 200km perimeter.
Firefighters had been strengthening containment lines around Bream Creek and Marion Bay and also at Lagoon Bay, but had to eventually pull out due to increased winds, TFS spokeswoman Shannon Fox said.
Read more on the Herald Sun.