Backburning continues

Updated: 12.45pm 1/2/13

MORE than 100 firefighters have been backburning and burning out in the northern parts of the Aberfeldy-Donnelly fire.

The fire is 71,385 hectares in size, stretching from just south of Aberfeldy (north-east of the Thomson Dam), to areas north of Heyfield and Glenmaggie. The fire has burnt mainly public land, but areas of private land in the Dawson, Seaton and Glenmaggie areas have been severely affected.

The fire is being controlled.

Cool, mild and showery weather will slow the spread of the fire, but could create difficult conditions for firefighters to work in.

The incident management team at Heyfield was hopeful that most areas of this fire would be behind solid control lines before the next run of hot weather.

Department of Sunstainability and Environment and Parks Victoria crews are working on patrolling, monitoring and blacking out hot spots, burning out unburnt areas within the 315km fire perimeter and lighting backburns from control lines to halt the progress of the fire, when weather conditions allow.

Burning out operations will begin Friday afternoon, using aerial drip torches and ground crews in the 20 Acre Creek area, east of the Licola Rd, 15 kilometres north-west of Glenmaggie.

On Thursday, firefighters were backburning and burning out on the northern sectors of the fire north of Glenmaggie, west of Ben Cruachan and on both sides of the Heyfield-Licola Rd.

Crews continue to black out and patrol other areas of the fire, from the Thomson Dam to Glenmaggie, along the western and southern edges of the fire area.

Exacavators are continuing to remove the harzardous trees and fallen trees along fencelines on boundaries between public and private land and on access tracks.

The Blores Hill Mountain Bike track and local parks and reserves in the Glenmaggie area remain closed to the public.

Tourists are able to access most areas except north of the Thomson Dam. Towns including Licola and Walhalla are open for business.

For general bushfire information phone the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on freecall 1800 240 667 or visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au

For information on road closures visit www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

For information on park closures visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au

For life or property threatening emergencies phone 000.

Wellington Shire Council and Department of Human Services are co-ordinating the recovery of communities and individuals affected by the fire.

For emergency relief or recovery information and support phone council on 1300 137 218 or visit www.dhs.vic.gov.au/emergency