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Crews work around the clock on Lorne fires
Fire fighters continue to work around the clock on the Lorne fires ahead of hot and windy conditions expected on Christmas day.
Incident Controller, Alistair Drayton, said crews had been working tirelessly since last Saturday when the fires started due to lightning.
“Crews have done an exceptional job on the Jamieson Track fire 8km south west of Lorne over the past few days in difficult terrain. Our burning out operations have been very successful to strengthen containment lines.
“We are continuing to pour resources into the job so we can bring the fire under control as quickly as possible. We have over 150 fire fighters, six aerial water bombing aircraft, seven dozers, two excavators, two water trucks, along with an Incident Management Team of 40. We will also have the two Large Air Tankers (LATs) RJ and Hercules on stand by to lend a hand tomorrow.
“I want to reassure the public this fire is being well managed, with all emergency service agencies and the local community working together,” he said.
As many flock towards Lorne and the Great Ocean Road as a popular holiday destination, Drayton urged both locals and travellers to know their fire plan.
“Fire is a shared responsibility. You need to work out what you are going to do today, tomorrow, and the days to come. In an environment like this, as beautiful as it is, there is fire risk which needs to be considered,” he said.
Drayton also recognised the hard work of crews over the holiday period.
“It is important to spare a thought for those who will be working over Christmas away from family and friends. Their commitment towards the safety of the Victorian community is to be commended.
“We would also like to recognise the fantastic work of the entire Surf Coast and Colac Otway communities who have gone out of their way to accommodate the needs of our emergency service workers in the area.”
A Total Fire Ban has been declared for the entire South West District on Christmas Day. No fires can be lit or be allowed to remain alight in the open air from 12:01 AM on Fri, 25 Dec 2015 until 11:59 PM Fri, 25 Dec 2015.
Businesses, communities and visitors should remain vigilant and check for updates via www.emergency.vic.gov.au, tuning into ABC Local Radio, downloading the FireReady App, monitoring social media or calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on 1800 240 667.