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North East fire update – 8.45pm – 9 Dec

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Update on the fires in the north east (including King Valley, Mansfield and North East Alps Complexes)

Current Fire Situation

Back burning and asset protection will continue overnight as the north east prepares for winds to strengthen on Sunday. These fires have already burnt approximately 122,500 hectares.

King Valley

Back burning was completed today and should help protect the towns of Cheshunt and Whitfield. More back burning tonight will occur around Paradise Falls.

Army refuellers and 46 NSW Rural Fire Service crews arrived Friday night and were busy back burning overnight.

The Black Range, Mt Typo, Lake Wiliam Hovell East and Rose River fires have all joined. Fire crews are assisting residents in this area with asset protection.

The West King sector of the fire crossed McDonalds Spur but has been held at the Mansfield-Whitfield Road. The Loombah fire is currently contained at approximately 200 hectares and the Pizzini fire is currently contained at 500 hectares.

Power has now been restored to the Whitfield township. Other areas within the King Valley, including Rose River and Cheshunt, are still without power. The lines are down in the Rose River area and SP Ausnet crews are currently working on this.

Rose River came under more intense ember attack this morning. Asset protection is being underaken in the Paradise Falls area to protect several timber bridgesthat provide essential access.

The communications towers near Power’s Lookout have been prepared and defended today. Back burning is continuing under the main transmission lines.

Mansfield Complex

There are two going fires in this complex which have burned approximately 17,500 hectares. The biggest of these is the Mt Terrible (Jamieson-Flourbag) fire, south of Jamieson in the Upper Goulburn Valley. This fire has spotted over the river north of Kevington and continues to cause concern. Control line development and asset protection around Jamieson continues. Back burning will occur tonight to protect the communities in the Tolmie and Gears Hill district.

Communities wich may come under threat from fire include:

  • Tolmie
  • Mt Buller
  • Merijig (Sawmill Settlement, Changue Roadand Mirimbah)
  • Kevington
  • Gaffney’s Creek
  • A1 Mine Settlement and
  • Knockwood

Jamieson and Woods Point could come under threat as fire conditions are expected to be extreme over the next few days.

CFA strike teams are providing protection and support to the Woods Point and Mt Buller communities. These teams will stay to assist residents to implement their fire safety plans.

Overnight fires had threatened a critical part of Victoria’s power grid.

North East Alps Complex

Work was done today to hold the fire south of Mt. Buller including protecting key electricity transmission lines. Work will continue overnight to hold the southern fire edge to try and stop the fire moving east towards Buckland Valley.

Communities in the north east are being urged to remain vigilant and on alert given current weather conditions.

In the King Valley/Wangaratta area, communities threatenedinclude:

  • Whitfield
  • Edi
  • Cheshunt
  • Cheshunt South
  • Rose River
  • Burders Lane and
  • Paradise Falls.

Residents in the Upper Buckland Valley are advised that there may be fire activity in this area.

A Community Relief Centre has been set up at the Moyhu Memorial Hall. Accommodation, food will be available.

Key Safety Messages

People who intend to stay need to ensure that they:

  • Are physically and mentally prepared to defend their home;
  • Have a comprehensive plan, reliable water supply and fire fighting equipment;
  • Have an adequate cleared space around their house;
  • If residents do not have these things in place, given the expected extreme fire conditions, they should leave well before the fire threatens their local area.

Community Meetings

A number of Community Meetings have been organised for the coming days.

Sunday 10 December

  • 9am Bright, Community Centre, Railway Avenue
  • 9am Tolmie, Tolmie Hall
  • 10.30am Harrietville, Community Hall, Great Alpine Road
  • 11am Merrijig, Merrijig Hall
  • 1pm Mansfield, Mansfield Sports Centre
  • 5pm Jamieson, Town Hall

Monday 11 December

  • 10am Carboor, venue TBA
  • 2pm Myrrhee, venue TBA

Tuesday 12 December

  • 10am Whorouly/Whitfield, venue TBA
  • 11am Whitfield, RSL Hall

Written by Greg Naylor

9 December 2006 at 9:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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