Back burning continues

RECENT mild weather has assisted fire crews with suppression activities at the Aberfeldy-Donnellys fire which has burnt through about 84,932 hectares and has a perimeter of almost 400 kilometres.

Incident controller Dennis Matthews said crews were taking advantage of current warm dry weather to reinforce back burns and treat unburnt areas within the fire ground.

“Hopefully good rainfall will come soon, but in the meantime, we are continuing with vigorous control efforts,” he said.

DSE, CFA, Parks Victoria and New South Wales Rural Fire Service personnel continue to work to control this fire by putting in control lines and back burning with the help of machinery and aircraft.

The fire has now been burning for 36 days.

Crews are also focussing on smaller fires in the area including the Mount Clear-Colman Creek, East Caledonia-Howitt Track and Thomson TJ Divide 2 Fires.

Heyfield–Licola Rd remains closed at Kellehers Rd with local access restricted to Licola residents, property owners and business owners with photo ID.

Jamieson–Licola Rd also remains closed, however road blocks have been moved to allow access to the Grannys Flat camping area located a few kilometres from Jamieson.

Fire in the Thomson catchment area has burned through approximately 90 hectares and is being controlled.

Fire activity has been quiet and crews are focusing on hotspots and strengthening control lines.

Patrolling and blacking out continues on previously burned areas.

The Australian Alps Walking Track north of the Baw Baw National Park is closed. The Baw Baw National Park remains open.

THE Harrietville-Alpine fire is 35,513 hectares in total.

The bushfire is not yet under control.

Fire activity around Mount Tabletop south west of Dinner Plain has subsided due to overnight rain. Aircraft will monitor the fire during the day. Fire is in the gully and not accessible by ground crews.

Crews will continue to patrol along Blue Rag Track and King Spur Track, Great Alpine Rd between Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain to maintain the fire within control lines.

Back burning will continue today in the Blue Rag Track area weather permitting.

There are threatened species and areas of cultural significance within the fire perimeter and in surrounding areas that have been identified and mapped. Management protocols have been implemented to protect them.

Recovery planning for cultural heritage sites is underway but no inspections will take place at this time due to the fire extent increasing.

THE Dargo–Matheson fire has reached 1111 hectares in size. This fire is contained.

The fire is in forest with very steep slopes which is causing access issues.        

The fire received significant rain overnight, however falls were isolated therefore fuels remain very dry in some areas.

A number of hot spots were identified on the western edge and ground crews will walk in to assess the area today.

There are threatened species within the fire perimeter that have been identified and mapped. Management protocols have been implemented to protect them.

Management Great Alpine Rd has been handed over to VicRoads who have set up a road block outside Hotham Central. This allows for full access into Hotham via Omeo. 

The road between Hotham and Harrietville reopened this morning for restricted access at specific times – 6.30am to 8.30am and from 5.00pm to 7pm.