Winds bring down power lines

SEVERE weather caused havoc on Wednesday, with the high velocity winds starting a grass fire from a planned burn and power supply interupted to numerous communities in Wellington Shire.

CFA Region 10 operations manager Len Scheetz said the grass fire began in private pine plantation on Kellys Rd (off the Longford-Rosedale Rd) after a planned burn went out of control in gale force winds.

“It was a burn off that went out of control in private pine plantation,” he said. “It was a bad day to be burning off.”

Four appliances from Sale, Stradbroke, Longford and Seaspray attended the fire, which was reported at about 3.45pm, with 16 firefighters taking an hour to bring the blaze under control.

SP Ausnet crews were busy tending to numerous power faults. Power was not expected to return to customers in some areas until 6pm yesterday.

Communities of Stratford, Maffra, Heyfield, Riverslea, Tinamba, Glenmaggie, Fulham and Dargo were some of the areas affected by power cuts, with many areas in the southern end of the shire around Woodside and Yarram also affected.

Andrew Duncan of the State Emergency Service said crews attended a number of minor jobs overnight on Wednesday.

“They attended 30 to 40 jobs but there was nothing significant apart from a number of power outages throughout the region,” he said.

“Crews are resting in anticipation of further operations later today (Thursday) or tomorrow (Friday).”

Yarram police were kept busy on Thursday morning directing traffic around fallen trees in the Woodside area.

The high velocity winds prompted Wellington Shire Council to put out warnings for residents to secure their hard rubbish.

Power interuptions across Wellington Shire: Alberton West, Boisdale, Carrajung South, Dargo, Denison, Devon North, Fulham, Glenmaggie, Heyfield, Hunterston, Jack River, Macks Creek, Maffra, Maffra West Upper, Munro, Nambrok, Newry, Riverslea, Seaton, Stacey’s Bridge, Stratford, Tinamba, Tinamba West, Woodside, Woodside Beach, Woodside North, Yarram.