News & Media

Fire threat eases for Mt Hotham

By: CFA Media

Category: Incidents - Bushfire

  6.27 PM 25 January, 2013


Location: General

Views: 3368

Lighter winds and cooler than expected temperatures on the Harrietville – Feathertop fire ground has resulted in an easing of the fire threat on Mt Hotham.

This afternoon, Mt Hotham’s level of warning was reduced from a “Watch and Act” message to an “Advice”.

The township of Harrietville remains on a “Watch and Act’ level because of the close proximity of the fire.

Incident Controller, Tony Lovick, said severe wind conditions forecast to affect the fire ground last night and intensify fire behaviour failed to eventuate.

“Had the predicted weather conditions eventuated we would have certainly seen extreme fire behaviour and increased risk to the community.

“Thankfully overnight fire behaviour remained reasonably moderate due to the lighter than anticipated winds.

“Today the fire is continuing to back down to the control lines east of Harrietville and this has not caused any major problems.

“Control lines have been constructed around private property east of Harrietville.

“Work has continued today on constructing additional control lines between the Ovens and WestKiewaValleys to the north and north-east of the fire.

“I would like to thank the communities, particularly those which have been on alert for a number of days, for their support and assistance.”

Mr Lovick said a number of control options were being considered, with much of the fire edge inaccessible.

“We are making use of control lines which were used in the 2003 and 2007 fires where practical and back-burning will be used to bring the fire out to the line when conditions are suitable.

“There is also potential for rainfall events over the fire ground today and during the weekend which we are monitoring closely.”

About 200 fire fighters are deployed to the fire today, including incident management personnel at Ovens. Twelve dozers and four aircraft, including water-bombing helicopters, are also supporting on-ground crews.

The following community meetings are planned for tomorrow;

  • Dinner Plain: 1pm at the RundlesBuilding.
  • Harrietville: 4pm at the Harrietville Hall.

Mr Lovick said the fire, which was started by lightning in steep, dense forest, was estimated to be nearly 3000 hectares in size.

For more information about forest closures visit the Parks Victoria website www.parks.vic.gov.au.

The Great Alpine Road remains closed between Harrietville and Dinner Plain. Latest updates are 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.

Information is online at www.dse.vic.gov.au/fires or www.cfa.vic.gov.au

Last Updated: 25 January 2013