Fire lighters

A BAND of lightning crossed parts of Gippsland last week, sparking more than 70 fires in central and east Gippsland.

However cooler temperatures at the weekend have given firefighters the upper hand in dealing with blazes across the region.

And while there will be some respite for the next few days, Gippslanders have been urged to be on alert as severe fire conditions will increase, with extreme weather still possible in early February.

Temperatures hit the 40s in central Gippsland last week but cooler and calmer conditions reduced fire activity during the weekend, giving firefighters the chance to consolidate control lines and try to prevent further spread of fires across the region.

Firefighters have stopped the spread of the bushfires three kilometres south-west of Glenaladale and eight kilometres north-east of Stockdale, with fire activity having subsided.

The Glenaladale fire has been contained at 601 hectares and at the time of going to print crews were confident of containing the Mt Ray fire to 589ha.

Some rain was reported as falling on those firegrounds. All roads are in the area were re-opened, while smoke may still be visible from nearby communities and roads.

The Mullungdung fires have been contained, with firefighters yesterday continuing to patrol and strengthen containment lines.

Fire behaviour was quiet and there had been some rain on the firegrounds.

The communities of Darriman, Giffard, Giffard West, Gormandale, Stradbroke, Willung South, Woodside, Carrajung, Hiamdale, Carrajung South and Willung were advised the fires that had put them on alert were now contained, however smoke may still be visible from nearby communities and roads particularly in the Monkey Gap and Anzac Rd areas.

The fire in the Tamboritha Carey River area 15km north-east of Licola is around 150ha in size.

As of yesterday, the Lake Tarli Karng walking track network was closed, with visitors urged to also stay away from tracks north of the Avon Wilderness area and the Mount Wellington to Millers Hut four-wheel-drive area.

There was no threat to communities, but people had been told to continue to stay informed and monitor conditions.

Fire activity six kilometres south-west of Castleburn had subsided.

The bushfire is now considered safe, however smoke may still be visible.

Firefighters were responding to a fire 19km north-east of Dargo yesterday morning.

This fire was 1200ha in size and burning in remote and difficult country.

Crews continued to strengthen control lines and prepare for backburning operations which are expected to take place mid-week.

There was currently no threat to communities from that fire, but smoke may be visible from Brookville and other nearby communities and roads.

Firefighters were also working on a 71ha fire 18km east of Dargo.

Crews continued to strengthen control lines and prepare for backburning operations, expected to be undertaken mid-week.

After threatening nearby towns on Friday, fire in the Westbury area west of Moe has subsided and is now safe.