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All clear in the Mallee
The final all clear has been issued this week for the Mallee fires that started nearly a month ago.
CFA, DEPI, Fire Services Commissioner media release
Loddon Mallee Regional Controller Rob Price said that lightning sparked 18 fires on the night of 14 January and since then more than 110,000 hectares of land has been burnt.
“We’ve had larger fires in the Mallee before but these fires have been the most complex and difficult for fire agencies to manage as some were in remote locations and difficult to get to while others were close to communities,” Mr Price said.
“Each had its own challenges and threats with firefighters working around the clock to contain them.
“Over the past month more than 700 people have worked on the Mallee fires using a variety of firefighting vehicles plus aircraft, bulldozers and graders.
“Firefighters and support staff came from across the state to assist us get these fires under control so it is a relief to finally be able to give the all clear.
“All these fires are now safe but there may be some smoke so firefighters will continue to patrol and monitor the fireground.
“It has been a tough time for landholders and communities with threats from these fires that were exacerbated by spikes in fire danger over the last month due to the weather and other conditions.
“All the fire agencies have appreciated the massive support from communities near and far and we know that local people were working hard on these fires whether it was on the back of a CFA truck, actively defending their properties or helping support those who were on the frontline.
“It has been a great effort from all involved, particularly the CFA, DEPI and Parks Victoria firefighters on the ground. We also need to recognise the hard work of staff in the other agencies including Victorian Police, SES, Red Cross, the Salvation Army, Mildura Rural City Council, Yarriambiack Shire Council, West Wimmera Shire Council and Hindmarsh Shire Council.
“We also recognise the great effort and tenacity of the local community over the past weeks.
“The Department of Human Services is now leading the recovery phase and anyone who requires assistance in relation to impact from the fires should call their local government recovery manager.
•Murray Sunset National Park – Rocket Lake: 1214 hectares
•Murray Sunset National Park – Danyo Reference Area: 4668 hectares
•Bronzewing – Sunraysia Highway, 14,102 hectares
•Wyperfeld National Park – Underbool Track, 20 hectares
•Big Desert National Park – Red Bluff, 29,896 hectares
•Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve – Eys Moyles Road, 4430 hectares
•Wyperfeld National Park – Lake Albacutya Wirrengren Plains, 56,543 hectares
(nine smaller fires were contained within the first 24 hours)
Photos: portrait of Yaapeet captain Troy Fisher by Keith Pakenham. All other photos supplied by Troy Fisher.