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East Gippsland Fire Update 8th Feb
Community Information Newsletter number 11
Far East Gippsland Fires
This weekend is expected to bring hot, dry and windy conditions to our region, increasing the bushfire risk to its highest levels so far this year. Everyone should stay aware of their local weather conditions and have a bushfire survival plan ready. Existing and any new fires will be difficult to control in the predicted weather conditions.
Saturday, 8 February 2014
A TOTAL FIRE BAN IS IN PLACE FOR THE WHOLE WEEKEND.
There are 12 active fires in far East Gippsland between the Snowy River and the NSW border.
The largest of these fires are burning in the Snowy River National Park and the Errinundra National Park and nearby State forest areas.
The Musk Creek fire (approx 7000 hectares) and the Deddick Trail fire (approx 12,000 hectares) south of the Deddick Valley are expanding to the north, east and west and expected to join today.
The Mount Jersey fire, north of Goongerah is approximately 1200 hectares in size and will move south under the predicted northerly winds.
The fire between Club Terrace and Combienbar is currently almost 8000 hectares and could also expand south and east today and tomorrow.
A smaller fire (25 hectares) north-east of Chandlers Creek in the Coopracambra National Park is in remote country, but could move south towards Cann River.
The focus is on protecting communities and private property from the threat of fire and providing information to help people prepare for fire before the forecast weather conditions.
Relief Centres have been established at the Delegate Country Club, Orbost Secondary College and Cann River P-12 College.
Base camps have been established to accommodate more firefighters and support personnel at Newmerella, Gelantipy and Delegate.
If people remain in a fire prone area they should be adequately prepared with food, water, firefighting equipment and all necessities so they do not need to drive out of the area for supplies.
Look out of your window, talk to your neighbours, call a friend. Stay aware of your environment.
Current road closures:
The Bonang Road is closed to all but firefighting vehicles and local residents leaving the area (anyone leaving their home will not be able to return until the fire threat is over).
Yalmy Road and Pinnak Road remain closed to Rising Sun Road.
McKillops Bridge Road from Wulgulmerang East to Armstrong Track, Deddick Valley is closed to all but firefighting vehicles and local residents leaving the area (anyone leaving their home will not be able to return until the fire threat is over).
Other local roads and tracks could be closed, depending on the local fire situation.
Information on updated road closures is available via 13 11 70 or the VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
Errinundra National Park
Lind National Park
Snowy River National Park
Alpine National Park below Willis to McKillops
Information about park and forest closures, including forest roads and tracks can be found at:
No-one except firefighting vehicles is allowed to drive past or around “Road Closed” signs. They are put there for public safety and to reduce traffic in a dangerous area.
Smoke from the fires could affect roads at any time. Drive carefully and turn your headlights on.
There will be many firefighting vehicles and heavy machinery using main and local roads in and near fire-affected areas. Please watch out, slow down and take extra care on our roads.
For information on fires in Victoria and general fire safety advice, 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 can contact VBIL via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
Local ABC Radio: 828 AM 97.1 FM 104.9 FM 106.1 FM
TRFM Commercial Radio: 99.9 FM
Gold 1242: 1242 AM
There will be smoke across most parts of East Gippsland over the weekend.
For information on how smoke from bushfires can affect your health, and emergency assistance availability:
The Department of Human Services www.recovery.vic.gov.au
Nurse-on-Call on 1300 60 60 24 (this is a phone service that allows you to discuss any health related issue with a registered nurse, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the cost of a local call from anywhere in Victoria).
For more information about the far East Gippsland fires:
Orbost Incident Control Centre on (03) 5161 1318