Limited spread for alpine fire

Updated 12.30pm 15/2/13

Harrietville-Alpine South fire:

THE Harrietville–Alpine South fire has not spread much overnight, but there will be increased smoke visible from communities today as backburning operations progress.

The fire is now 12,130 hectares, with a perimeter of 228 kilometres. 

The fire continues to burn in steep, rugged terrain with limited access for on-ground fire fighter crews.

 Ongoing asset protection, suppression and patrolling activities continue around Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain and Dargo.

Areas of sensitive natural values including cultural heritage places, threatened species and critical breeding habitat have been identified and protective works undertaken.

There are around 240 fire fighting personnel, 14 tankers, 54 slip on units, 64 vehicles and 27 dozers and graders working on this fire today.

Around 50 firefighters will be arriving from New South Wales on Saturday to assist Victorian crews.

Combined, the north and south fires are 30,400ha.

The Great Alpine Rd has reopened to the public from Dinner Plain towards Omeo yesterday at 7pm. From Mt Hotham to Dinner Plain, access is restricted to residents, essential services, accredited media and individuals or groups delivering relief and aid to residents and to animals.

Locals have been asked to provide proof of residency.

The incident management team is currently identifying upcoming events which are occurring over the next couple of months, near the vicinity of the fire.

People planning an event which may be affected by the fire or suppression activity need to phone the public information officer at the Swifts Creek incident control centre during business hours on 5159 5100.

Aberfeldy–Donnellys fire

RECENT mild weather is helping suppression activities for the Aberfeldys-Donnellys fire and any more rain will ease conditions further.

The Aberfeldy fire has burned through 84,100 hectares and has a perimeter of almost 400 kilometres. Firefighters have constructed control lines on more than 300 kilometres of that perimeter by hand, with machinery and from the air.

Today, there are 295 personnel working on the fire, supported by 11 tankers, 87 slip-on units (4WD vehicles), 14 dozers and seven aircraft.

Further control lines are being constructed near the junction of Hickeys Creek Track and the southern end of Mt Margaret Track to protect the Avon Wilderness.

Backburning operations in the area will continue when weather conditions allow.

Most of the remaining fireground is quiet, with crews continuing to patrol and monitor, black out and mop up the fire area.

Heyfield-Licola Rd remains closed to the north at the junction with Kellehers Rd, only allowing essential and emergency services vehicles to pass. Jamieson-Licola Rd is closed to the south at Jamieson, allowing residents access only.

Local road users in the area should proceed with caution and watch out for firefighting vehicles, personnel and machinery.

The Thomson Dam Access Rd remains closed at the southern end of the Thomson Dam, north of Erica.