Help from far and wide for east Gippsland

RELATED: Fire update

FIREFIGHTERS from across Victoria, interstate and New Zealand continue to battle several fires across east Gippsland but with conditions easing in the area, fire services are hopeful the worst has passed.

Orbost incident controller Ross Williamson said 11 fires were not yet under control and more than 130,000 hectares has burnt.

“Unfortunately, after the severe fire weather on Sunday, 11 houses, eight sheds, five vehicles and livestock were lost and there was some fence damage,” he said.

“Firefighters worked extremely hard on asset protection leading up to Sunday and some great work was done but the extreme weather conditions caused some fires to jump containment lines.”

The three largest fires at Deddick Trail, Jacksons Crossing and Mt Jersey made large runs on Sunday, with the largest fire at Goongerah-Deddick Trail now covering about 80,000 hectares.

Mr Williamson said air and ground observers spent all day yesterday doing an initial assessment of the fire affected areas.

“Our focus today and the next few days is controlling parts of the fires that pose the greatest risk, asset protection through burning out, community recovery and implementing our strategic plan to bring all of these fires under control,” he said.

Recovery teams have started working in private land affected by fires which include agricultural assessment teams to help determine the number of stock losses.

Bonang Rd remains closed which is blocked by fallen trees. While work has begun to reopen the road, this could take a few days.

Up to date information can be found on the VicRoads website,  www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

Several forest roads and tracks are also closed to the public. For more information go to the Parks Victoria website, www.parks.vic.gov.au

The Orbost and Cann River relief centres are closed but the Delegate Country Club relief centre remains open.

More than 500 firefighters and incident management teams will continue to work on the fires in the area.

Losses as of 11/2/14:

Cabanandra: six houses, five sheds, two vehicles

Martins Creek: three houses, three sheds, one vehicle

Goongerah: two houses, two vehicles

Deddick Valley: fence damage