Brigades arrived at the scene at Cahillton Road, Gruyere just after 6am to find the balloon’s basket and five gas cylinders fully alight.
Firefighters from Coldstream and Gruyere CFA received an early wake-up call on Boxing Day (26 December), attending a call-out to a hot-air balloon fire in Melbourne’s Yarra Ranges.
The crews from six trucks worked to contain the fire to a small area around the crash site and keep the gas cylinders cool until they had finished venting.
The fire was deemed under control at 6.38am.
The balloon had been in the air about 20 minutes before the fire broke out, with all 15 passengers able to evacuate to safety upon landing.
One woman was taken to hospital for observation.
Firefighters commended the efforts of the balloon’s pilot who acted swiftly to land the craft in a paddock.
Fire investigators are working with Victoria Police to determine the cause of the fire.
Photos courtesy of Coldstream and Gruyere CFA.