Updated 3pm 11/2/13
THE Aberfeldy-Donnellys fire has burned through about 82,500 hectares from Aberfeldy, north-east of the Thomson Dam, to areas of public and private land north and west of Heyfield.
DSE incident controller Dennis Matthews said the main fire activity was to the south and west of Licola, in the Glenfalloch and Mount Useful areas.
“There was a spotfire east of the Licola Rd on Saturday that grew to over 700 hectares in windy conditions and has now joined the main fire,” he said.
“We’ve got machinery continuing to work along the public-private interface north of Licola and in Glencairn areas and we’re constructing a control line along the Mount Margaret Track in an attempt to halt the easterly spread of the fire.”
Good backburning work on Friday night protected the Wollangarra Outdoor Education Centre.
DSE and CFA crews are conducting backburning on private property west of the Macalister River today, between Glenfalloch and Licola.
“Residents of Licola and surrounds may see active fire and there will be considerable smoke generated by these backburning operations,” Mr Matthews said.
There were about 250 DSE, Parks Victoria, CFA and Melbourne Water personnel working on this fire on Monday, supported by seven tankers, 42 slip-on units, 11 dozers and eight aircraft.
Machinery continues to work along the public-private interface north of Licola and around Glencairn.
Melbourne Water and DSE crews are patrolling on the south end of South Rd, near Mt Useful where back burning operations have been undertaken.
A CFA strike team and a DSE taskforce have been patrolling in the Glenfalloch area.
CFA and DSE crews will be in Licola over the coming days.
The Heyfield-Licola Rd remains closed at the junctions with Kellehers Rd with only essential and emergency services vehicles are allowed to pass. Local road users in the area were to proceed with caution and watch out for firefighting vehicles, personnel and machinery.
“Other parts of the fire area will continue to be patrolled and blacked out. There are still some areas where smoke may be seen, but this is well within control lines,” Mr Matthews said.
“Residents in all areas in and around the fire area should stay aware of conditions, review their bushfire plans and check information on CFA and DSE websites, ABC radio, the CFA app and Facebook page or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.”
The spotfire at Burgoyne Gap east of the Heyfield-Licola Rd has now burnt 746 hectares. Steep, rocky terrain is making access difficult for firefighters.
Control options are currently being assessed.
Significant areas of forest and parks in Gippsland are closed due to fire activity. Visitors should avoid the fire-affected areas and plan to go to other parts of the region that are safe to travel to.
Visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au for information on forest and park road closures.
Residents in Licola and the Glenfalloch area should remain vigilant.
People experiencing any symptoms should to seek medical advice or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.
For life or property threatening situations phone 000.
For general bushfire information phone the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on freecall 1800 240 667 or visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au