News & Media

Firefighters get upper hand on major blazes

  • CFA firefighters at the Lancefield fire - COURTESY KEITH PAKENHAM
  • CFA firefighters at the Lancefield fire
  • Lancefield fire 2015 KEITH PAKENHAM
  • Lancefield fire 2015 - KEITH PAKENHAM
  • Lancefield fire 2015 - KEITH PAKENHAM

By: CFA Media

Category: Incidents - Bushfire

  3.12 PM 9 October, 2015


Location: General

Views: 1642

Victorian firefighters are continuing to work on two significant fires in the northern central region after being able to pull up more than 160 others this week.

*State Control Centre Media Release*

Firefighters are working hard to contain the Lancefield fire, which has burnt close to 4000 hectare and threatened communities in Benloch, Nulla Vale, Pastoria, Baynton and Lancefield. The 500-hectare Tallarook fire is also expected to remain within containment lines. 

Windy conditions have eased across the state, however temperatures have again risen, with expected maximums of 29 degrees in Bendigo, and up to 35 in the North West.

“Victorians have faced significant fires in the past week, and at least two of those fires have had a serious and a significant impact,” Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said today.

“Specialist teams are continuing to work today to assess losses in the Lancefield area, but at this point we can report the loss of four homes, 19 sheds, two vehicles and valuable farm equipment.

“We aren’t in the clear just yet. We have one fire still yet to be fully contained, which is the Lancefield fire, but we are certainly making good progress. 

“This has been a trying time, particularly for the communities who have been threatened by these fires and in some cases, lost possessions or property. 

“Many residents are still waiting for traffic managements points to open so they can access the area and we understand the frustration involved in that situation.”

Key facts and figures – over a three day period


Fighting four fires across the state:
– Tuesday– 677 firefighters, 206 trucks and 19 aircraft
– Wednesday – 213 firefighters, 83 trucks and 18 aircraft
– Thursday – 330 firefighters, 143 trucks and 13 aircraft 

From Monday to Wednesday: 
– 212 Advice messages, Watch and Act and Emergency Warnings issued 
– 14+ million notifications were sent via the FireReady App to almost 900,000 registered devices 
– The telephone emergency alert system was used 11 times
– The CFA website and emergency.vic.gov.au received approx. 650,000 hits

Mr Lapsley said up to 22 aircraft have been brought on to fight fires this week. Victoria has a panel of more than 100 rotary and fixed wing tactical and reconnaissance aircraft available on a ‘call when needed register’ and this has been put to good use.

“This summer will see Victoria with its largest ever contract fleet of aircraft – that gives us a total of 47 helicopters and airplanes ready to respond to fires,” he said. 

“We will be progressively bringing our aircraft on across the state according to need and that will be reassessed in light of the latest climate forecast.”

As part of an ongoing reciprocal arrangement between states, two large airtankers also made the one-hour journey from Richmond, NSW to assist with the Lancefield fire earlier this week. 

Mr Lapsley said Victoria was well prepared for a potentially long and tough season ahead. 

“Victoria is not used to large bushfires in October but we are ready and have our resources and firefighters in place.”

Fire chiefs are likely to meet next week to discuss the early onset of fire restrictions.

PHOTOS COURTESY KEITH PAKENHAM CFA

Last Updated: 10 October 2015