NZ firefighters arrive to help out

NEW Zealand fire crews with special skills in steep and remote rugged terrain arrived in Gippsland on Sunday to help local fire fighters battle fires in the Licola region.

While rain on Monday morning helped fire fighting efforts across eastern Victoria, at least five fires, including the Licola-Mt Margaret Track fire, are still not yet under control.

It remains about 2km east of Licola and 9km north-west of Valencia Creek, and is about 78500 hectares.

VicEmergency says the fire is still active, with the fire near Marathon Rd moving north of Paddy Lees Crossing area.

Aircraft were continuing to work in the area on Monday, and the air base in the Snowy Range opened to increase activity in that area north of the Licola fires.

The New Zealand fire fighters have joined more than 250 fire fighters from the ACT, New South Wales and Victoria.

Pop-up recovery centres for people stressed by the fires and the drought will be at Briagolong Community House on March 20 and 27, and April 3, from 5pm to 7pm, and at Heyfield the service will be available at Heyfield Community House on March 26 and April 2, from 11am to 2pm.

Tea,coffee and nibbles will be provided.