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Lancefield and Tallarook fire update
Easing conditions have helped firefighters working on the Lancefield and Tallarook blazes, with the Lancefield fire now 90 per cent contained and downgraded from Watch & Act to Advice status.
This follows a challenging week which saw an almost unusual degree of fire threat for October.
Several roadblocks were opened for residents just this morning (Saturday), allowing many locals to return to their properties for the first time since the fire began.
State Response Controller Joe Buffone said the focus for crews at Lancefield remained on consolidating containment lines and dealing with any remaining pockets of active fire.
“This has been a coordinated effort between firefighters on the ground and our aircraft crews – the contractors in operating bulldozers and excavators have done some terrific work in difficult terrain.
“Aborists and crews have also worked very hard to clear dangerous trees from around roadsides to allow access. This work will continue throughout the weekend, and access for the general public will be kept restricted until those can be made safe.
Meanwhile, a second major fire near Tallarook was listed as ‘contained’ shortly before midday, having reached 558 hectares in size.
Authorities hope to take advantage of milder conditions over the weekend and early next week before an increase in fire danger from Thursday.
Impact assessment teams had worked through yesterday and will continue today to confirm losses and establish the extent of damage. Four homes, 23 sheds have been confirmed lost along with a significant number of farm assets.
Mr Buffone said a combined total of 400 personnel, 30 tankers and 11 aircraft were working across the two fire grounds today,
“Thank you to all the emergency services personnel for their efforts including local firefighters and those strike teams who have travelled in to help,” he said
“This is looking to be the start of a potentially long and arduous fire season and we urge the community to look after themselves and others, and to do what they need to do to plan and prepare.”
Despite extensive bushfire activity in the area over the last week, local businesses and B&Bs are ‘waiting with open arms’ to welcome tourists into the Lancefield area, with none of the local attractions affected.
Residents 5428 8319 (business hours) or 0458 406 400 (after hours)
- A recovery centre at Lancefield Mechanics' Institute will be open today, tomorrow and Monday from 10am to 2pm Saturday and Sunday. It will be open 10-4pm Monday.
- A Community meetings will be held at Lancefield Mechanics Institute 2pm today and a residents' meeting will be held for locals at the Benloch Fire Station at 4.30pm.
- Recovery queries: affected residents should direct general enquiries to 5428 8319 (business hours) or 0458 406 400 (after hours) – calls will be answered by Macedon Ranges Shire recovery staff. Specific water or fencing enquiries should go to 5336 6674 (DELWP)
Aerial photos courtesy of Wayne Rigg