Containment efforts continue

Updated 4.30pm 22/1/13:

FIREFIGHTERS have been continuing their work overnight to build containment lines around the Aberfeldy-Donnellys fire.

About 600 crews, 130 vehicles and 13 aircraft are involved in fighting the fire, which is now 61,783 hectares in size with the fire perimeter now 322 kilometres.

Fire behaviour is expected to increase slightly as the temperature rises during the day and crews will continue backburning operations and building containment lines.

A critical 190 hectare backburn will reduce fuel loads in the unburnt area 5km south of Glenmaggie and 6km north-west of Heyfield. Smoke will be visible from surrounding communities.

The fire is being controlled in the Licola area.

Backburning continued overnight in the Mt Useful area, while machinery and dozers are continuing to consolidate lines in the Black Range area. Smoke may be visible from nearby communities and roads.

There is increased fire activity in the Glenmaggie Flora and Fauna Reserve due to backburning operations.

Residents will see an increase in smoke and fire between Pritchetts Rd and Lambrech Rd north of Heyfield-Seaton Rd. Smoke may be visible from nearby communities, such as Coongulla, Dawson, Glenmaggie, Heyfield, Seaton and, Glenmaggie Point, and roads.

There was increase fire activity north of Walhalla overnight.

Fallback lines are being constructed today.

Burning out operations are continuing north-east of Walhalla and east of Aberfeldy.

Smoke may be visible from nearby communities and roads.

Aberfeldy Rd is close north of Beardmore.

FIRE services will have to divert aircraft away from the bushfire after lightning strikes started small fires near Orbost late Monday.

RESIDENTS being allowed back into Seaton, Glenmaggie Township and Glenmaggie Point.

Restricted access has now been restored to Licola Rd, all the way from Licola to Heyfield. This means residents of the immediate area; people providing recovery and relief services, council or VicRoads employees or sub-contractors, and business owners in the immediate area can now access Licola.

ONE relief centre is open at the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex, Cobains Rd, Sale. The relief centre at Traralgon has closed.

Staff from the Department of Primary Industries are in the area assessing impact on livestock.