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East Gippsland Fire Update 6/3/14
Community Information Newsletter # 22
Far East Gippsland Fires
6th March 2014
There is currently one fire yet to be contained in far east Gippsland – the Goongerah-Deddick Trail fire which has burnt through 165,721 hectares. The Club Terrace-Goolengook fire was contained at 8063 hectares on 2nd March.
There are no current threats to communities.
Resources currently deployed to fires include 150 crew, 59 slip-on units, 1 tankers, 32 plant (machinery) and 5 aircraft.
The Bonang Road is still closed to through traffic People coming from Bonang and further north are required to take an alternative route such as through Cann River. The road is still being used by heavy machinery and there is still debris on the road. For residents of Goongerah, Sardine and Martin’s, Creek access is for essential travel only. It is advised that the number of trips is minimised and that there is no travel after dark or when windy. Considerable delays can be expected.
To date, assessments of losses include 11 houses, 14 other building and 3 vehicles, pasture, more that 200 livestock and fences at Goongerah and in the Deddick Valley.
Fences and control lines on private land
DEPI is responsible for repairing fences damaged by machinery during fire control works and for rehabilitating control lines constructed on private land. DEPI also administers the government grant to help landholders replace burnt fences on the public land boundary. About 56 properties have been affected. A team of assessors is making appointments to visit all of the contactable property owners. So far 19 properties have been visited and assessed. If you have been affected but not contacted yet please ring the Orbost Office on 51 611 222. East Gippsland Shire is organising assistance for fenceline clearing.
Landholders are reporting increased wild dog activity in and around the fire affected area in the Bonang area and the Deddick Valley. Since last week DEPI has deployed a second Wild Dog Controller to the Valley and a contractor is undertaking baiting on public land on the northern margins of the valley. Access into the burnt area on public land remains a major problem, with most tracks closed by fallen trees. Work to reopen tracks needed for wild dog control, such as the Bowens Track, is underway. Landholders should report wild dog activity by contacting the Senior Wild Dog Controller on 0427 321 312
Re-opening roads and tracks on public land
There are just over 1200 km of roads and tracks on public land that have been affected by the fires. Many of these have been burnt over and now have large numbers of fallen trees across them. Some wooden bridges and culverts have also been burnt. Repairing these roads will take months, but the first round of road opening and dangerous tree removal is well underway. So far 285 km have been fully treated and 501 km are in progress. Priority is being given to roads needed for access to private property or key services, then major forest and park access roads and tracks needed to give access for wild dog control and finally the other tracks for general forest and park access. Clearing drains and culverts is also underway , to try to minimise damage to roads if there is heavy rain over the burnt ground.
· Errinundra National Park
· Lind National Park
· Snowy River National Park
All roads in these parks are closed until further notice.
13 19 63 www.parkweb.vic.gov.au
· For symptoms of smoke exposure, seek medical advice or call Nurse-on-Call on 1300 606 024.
· If you see injured wildlife, please call Wildlife Victoria on 1300 094 535.
· Beware of livestock stock trucks.
· Only emergency service vehicles are allowed to drive past or around “Road Closed” signs. They are put there for public safety and to reduce traffic in a dangerous area.
Local ABC Radio: 828AM 97.1FM 104.9FM 106.1FM
TRFM Commercial Radio: 99.9FM; Gold 1242:1242AM
NO PERMIT REQUIRED: - residents of Goongerah, Sardine and Martin’s Creek must present proof of residence a the Traffic Management Points which are manned by VicPol.
PERMIT REQUIRED: - to be obtained from the DEPI Office at Orbost or Bendoc. For owners or managers of businesses within the affected area who have proof of business interest.
Only authorised traffic is allowed past traffic management points on the Bonang Road. This is residents and landholders whose properties can only be accessed from the closed road section, namely residents of Goongerah, Martin’s Creek and Sardine Creek. The road is not open to through traffic. People coming from Bonang and further north are required to take an alternative route such as through Cann River.
The Yalmy and Pinnak Roads are also closed. VicRoads are working to have the Bonang Highway open to residents as soon as possible. Works are currently being undertaken to replace guard rails, guide posts and access will be at a reduced speed.
Refer to VicRoads for road closures and updates.
VicRoads 13 11 70 www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) 1800 240 667
VBIL via the National Relay Service 1800 555 677
Callers with hearing or speech impairment can call the VBIL via the National Relay Service
Department of Environment and Primary Industries 13 61 86 www.depi.vic.gov.au/fires
Country Fire Authority www.cfa.vic.gov.au
Emergency Relief and Recovery Victoria 1300 799 232 www.recovery.vic.gov.au
East Gippsland Shire Recovery Line 1800 100 298 www.eastgippsland.vic.gov.au
- For assistance with fencing and water related issues.
- For referal to the Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Orbost 5161 1222
- For assistance repairing damaged fences borderingpublic land.
- For assistance rehabilating control lines constructed byfire agencies.
Victorian Farmers Federation 1300 882 833 www.vff.org.au
- For assistance sourcing fodder.
COUNSELLING AND HEALTH ADVICE
The impact of an emergency such as a bushfire can be stressful and exhausting. People are encouraged to look after themselves in this period. People who readily use formal and informal support from family, friends or other support organisations are generally found to recover better from stressful situations.
Lifeline 13 11 14 www.lifeline.org.au
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 www.beyondblue.org.au
Mensline Australia 1300 789 978 www.mensline.org.au
Kids Helpline 1800 551 800 www.kidshelp.com.au
Parentline 13 22 89 www.parentline.com.au
Nurse-on-Call 1300 60 60 24
For more information about the Far East Gippsland Fires call the Orbost Incident Control Centre on (03) 5161 1318.