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Orbost fires update
Orbost, Cann River, Bendoc, Club Terrace, Goongerah, Marlo
Monday 20 January 2014
A large number of fires were ignited by lightning strikes on Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 January 2014. Many have been contained or are in remote areas, while others have developed and have the potential to threaten communities and infrastructure.
The potential for fires to pose a threat to life, property, infrastructure and critical services is still very real. Should the weather forecast predict more hot dry and windy weather there is potential for these fires to increase and pose a threat.
There are several areas that are still of concern: Club Terrace – Goolengook 10KM NNW Club Terrace, there are 8 fires in this complex. Goongerah – Joys Creek 5KM SW of Goongerah, there are 4 fires in this complex. There are 23 other fires in the East Gippsland area.
As the extreme weather conditions have eased the ability to gain the upper hand on some fires has been obtained. Weather for the upcoming week should also enable crews to continue work maintaining control in some fire areas.
Four aircraft are being used for surveillance of the fire situation as well fire suppression and ground crews are concentrating on containing fires to protect communities. About 100 people and 28 bulldozers are working on these fires, supported by water tankers and four wheel drive vehicles. Crews are strengthening control lines as close to fire areas as possible and burning out vegetation in some areas.
Control lines have not yet been fully constructed for many of the fires and they are expected to burn for a number of weeks. Residents and communities should remain on alert and refer to their fire plans.
The BOM forecast for East Gippsland for the rest of Monday 20 January:
Cloudy. Scattered showers. Areas of smoke haze about the ranges. Winds east to southeasterly 15 to 20 km/h becoming light in the late evening. Daytime temperatures reaching between 17 to 22.
The for remainder of the week, isolated showers, light winds and temperatures in the low 20’s until Wednesday and high 20’s later in the week are expected.
What does a community alert siren mean?
If a siren sounds for up to 90 seconds it indicates a CFA brigade is responding to an incident nearby. A continuous siren for five minutes means that there is a significant emergency and you must seek further information because it may affect you.
What do I need to do if I hear a community alert siren sound in my community?
If a siren sounds for five minutes, you must seek further information immediately from a source such as the emergency services’ websites, the Victorian Bushfire Information Line or emergency broadcasters such as community radio stations, ABC Radio or Sky News.
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 may call textphone/telewriter (TTY) on 1800 122 969.
Local ABC radio 828 AM 106.1 FM 97.1 FM
ABC News Radio 107.9 FM 89.7 FM
Sky New TV
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).
Information on updated road closures is available via 13 11 70 or the VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
AFTER THE FIRES
The Department of Human Services offer a range of support services including personal, emotional, psychological and financial help. For information go to www.recovery.vic.gov.au
For more information about this fire:
Orbost Incident Control Centre, on (03) 5161 1318