Fire crews battle High Country lightning blazes

FIRE conditions are predicted to significantly worsen on Friday with Severe Fire Danger Ratings forecast across Gippsland.

For Sale a top temperature of 41 degrees has been forecast for Friday with a light shower of two and the chance of a thunderstorm from the early afternoon.

Work by DEPI, Parks Victoria and CFA fire fighters on Wednesday prevented the spread of many fires across Gippsland.

A band of lightning crossed parts of central and east Gippsland and sparked many small fires.

The majority of these fires have been in the area north of Briagolong and the area north of Bruthen.

Firefighting aircraft and dozers were dispatched to support firefighters on the ground.

Gippsland regional fire controller Bryan Russell commended fire crews for their speedy work in very hot and uncomfortable conditions.

“Today is the second day of hot and windy conditions across Gippsland and if it wasn’t for the quick response from volunteer and DEPI fire fighters, many of these fires would have spread to communities,” he said on Wednesday.

Thursday and Friday, a Total Fire Ban was declared for the whole state, with the Fire Danger Rating for both West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland is Very High, meaning if a fire started it may be difficult for fire fighters to control.

As the Gippsland Times went to press crews were fighting fires at Briagolong, Dargo, Treasures, Waterford, Castleburn, Cobbannah.

In the east fires were also burning.

An all clear advice had been issued for fires at Mossiface, Bruthen and Wiseleigh.

Despite the hot weather and fire warnings some campers continued to act foolishly.

Yarram police received complaints of a campfire burning at Reeves Beach on Tuesday night while the day’s total fire ban was still in effect.

Police remind campers that lighting a solid fuel fire on a day of total fire ban is illegal with escaped or unattended campfires often discovered to be behind bush fires.