Fire merge fear

AUTHORITIES fear fires in the High Country will merge in the next couple of days.

Crews from New South Wales and South Australia have joined the fire fight.

THE Licola-Mt Margaret Track fire, about 3.5 kilometres north-west of Valencia Creek, is not yet under control.

The fire is about 37,000 hectares in size. The fire behaviour has moderated with light rain falling across the fire ground yesterday.

On Thursday, an Advice message was issued for the Mooka-Mt Wellington Fire, which is burning north-west of the Licola-Mt Margaret Track fire. It is expected that these two fires will join together in the coming days.

Neither of these fires poses any immediate threat to life or property. Crews and aircraft are continuing to work in the area.

The smoke will continue to be visible to community in the coming days.

THE three fires in the Dargo area are not yet under control.

The Hibernia Black Snake Creek fire is located 1.6km north-west of Dargo, while the Mt Darling-Cynthia Track and Wongungarra-Mt Darling fires are located 18km north-west of Dargo.

In the next couple of days it is expected the Mt Darling-Cynthia Track and the Wongungarra-Mt Darling fires will merge.

The combined size of these fires is approximately 16,000ha.

The cooler temperatures and recent rain fall has resulted in reduced fire activity however the fires are still continuing to produce a large amount of smoke.

An Advice message is current for the Dargo area which will be updated if the fire situation changes.

There is still potential for new fires to start due to lightning strikes.

THE foothills and Southern Alps area of the Alpine National Park are closed. Because of the number of fires currently active within the park, it has been decided to close these areas until further notice.

Public road closures for Valencia Creek and surrounding areas are at Licola Rd (at Kellehers Rd) and Bairnsdale-Dargo Rd (at Beverleys Rd). Residents will need to prove residency to obtain access to these roads.

Dargo Rd is closed north of Cobbanah, and Dargo Plains Rd is close north of Upper Dargo to the Grear Alpine Rd.

For more information on updated road closures are available via 13 11 70 or the VicTraffic website.