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Back burning at Harrietville fire
Fire fighters are preparing to ignite a major back burn on the Great Alpine Road, near Mt Hotham, in preparation for worsening weather conditions.
The 200 hectare burn was ignited at about 4pm today from the Razorback walking track through to the Dead Timber Spur, north west of Mt Hotham.
Harrietville-Feathertop Fire Incident Controller, Tony Long, said the key objective of the burn was to limit the potential spread of the fire, and assist the protection of communities and other assets at Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain.
“It’s important that we undertake back burning when conditions are favourable, ahead of hot and dry conditions forecast later this week.
“Back burning is an effective way to assist the control of the fire by removing fuel between the main fire and the control line. It also assists in reducing the likelihood of the fire spotting.”
Mr Long said this afternoon’s burn was the first part of a larger operation to burn from the Great Alpine Road.
“Communities around Bright, Harrietville and Mt Hotham are advised that increased smoke is likely to be visible over the next few days while the burning is undertaken and patrolled.
“The fire will also increase in size. The Great Alpine Road remains closed between Harrietville and Mt Hotham to allow fire fighters to safely undertake the works.”
The latest works follow the completion of a successful 300 hectare back burn south of Harrietville last night to provide greater protection to the community.
“We have been waiting for the right conditions to undertake this back burning for several days and our patience was rewarded with the burn going completely according to plan last night,” he said.
The Harrietville-Feathertop fire was started by lightning on Monday, January 21 and has now burnt more than 6400 hectares of the Alpine National Park.
For more information about forest closures visit the Parks Victoria website www.parks.vic.gov.au.
The latest information about road closures is available at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
For information on fires in Victoria and general fire safety, please contact the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on freecall 1800 240 667. Callers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech / communication impairment may contact VBIL via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677. People should also tune in to their emergency broadcasters: ABC Local Radio, commercial radio and designated community radio stations or SKY NEWS Television.