Gippsland fire facts
The Gippsland (Aberfeldy) fire is the largest fire in Victoria since Black Saturday.
Approaching 60,000 hectares, the fire is currently equal to the size of approximately 30,000 MCG playing fields.
If placed over Melbourne, it would stretch roughly from Melbourne Airport to Clayton (in length) and Port Phillip Bay to Heidelberg (in width).
CFA Agency Commander Joe Buffone said hundreds of CFA and DSE fire-fighters and support staff have been working around the clock to strengthen containment lines ahead of a return of bad fire conditions on Thursday.
“The heat and wind both increase considerably on Thursday and will continue late into the night across most of the state,” he said.
“Temperatures will be in the mid to high 30’s right across the state and we know that grassland and forests are now very dry and ready to burn – the conditions are ripe for fires.
“People need to prepare their property and think about their plans now. They need to monitor conditions, warnings and know the fire danger rating in their area.
“We also want people to be aware of neighbours who may need support and to remember that the safest option is to leave high-risk areas early on bad days.”
Mr Buffone said Total Fire Bans may be called for a number of regions for Thursday and possible Friday.
“Obviously the Aberfeldy-Donnellys fire continues to be our main concern ahead of the return to bad conditions but other fires can easily start and spread quickly so we need the community to prepare and avoid activities that could start fires,” he said.
While the Gippsland fire is large, most areas of the region remain open to visitors including Lakes Entrance and Wilsons Promontory. People need to check conditions and roads (www.vicroads.vic.gov.au) before travelling through the area.Last Updated: 21 January 2013