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North East fires update – 6.00am – 12 Dec 2006

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The Black Range, Mt Typo, Lake William Hovell East and Rose River fires have combined. The one fire is now known as the North East Alps Fire. Update also includes Mansfield and Ovens fire complexes. New information on the Mansfield Fire Complex.

Current Fire Situation

All residents in affected areas are advised remain vigilant and implement their fire plans.

Wangaratta (North East Alpine) Fire Complex

The fire on the western edge of the North East Alps fire, 1km north of Powers Lookout is still going. DSE and CFA advise residents in the following areas that they may be threatened by this fire:

  • Whitlands
  • Burders Lane
  • Powers Lookout Road and
  • Mansfield to Whitfield Rd

The estimated area burnt is approximately 132,000ha. A machinery shed and contents have been lost today in the Rose River area.

DSE and CFA resources continue to focus on asset protection in the Buckland Valley, Mount Buffalo and Lake Buffalo. Lake Buffalo/Whitfield Road containment line is holding well.

Communities that may come under threat include:

  • Tolmie
  • Merrijig
  • Sawmill Settlement
  • Mirimbah
  • Mount Buller
  • Rose River
  • Upper Buckland Valley area
  • Cheshunt
  • Cheshunt South
  • Paradise Falls areas

DSE and CFA crews continue to strengthen good control lines around the township of Tolmie. Work is progressing today to consolidate control lines from Stockyard Link Track and Bald Hill Track into Barragunda. Backburning operations will continue today, conditions permitting.

Ovens Fire Complex (including Bright Tawonga Gap fire)

The Bright-Tawonga Gap fire has burnt across 9000hectares, spreading further north overnight fanned by a south westerly wind, with fire travelling on the northern side of Tawonga Gap Road.

DSE and CFA advise residents in the Tawonga and Tawonga South area to activate their fire plans immediately as embers may be landing around their property soon and that they should take all measures to put them out as they arrive.

CFA strike teams are providing protection and support to the Mount Beauty community.

Mansfield Fire Complex

The Mansfield complex is estimated to have burnt 24,000ha. This includes the Mt. Teribble fire and the Governors fire.

Residents in the Jamieson district are advised that predicted wind changes may push the Mt. Terrible fire in a northerly direction and residents may be threatened by this fire. Residents need to activate their fire plans.

Residents within the following areas need to activate their fire plans urgently as they may be threatened by the fire front and ember attack:

  • Gaffneys Creek
  • A1 Mine settlement and
  • Burns Bridge

Howqua Hills, Sheepyard Flat and Lower Howqua need toremain vigilant as the Low Saddle and Governors fires are expected to be pushed in a northerly direction. The fires also continue to threaten the communities of

  • Mount Buller
  • Kevington and
  • Knockwood.

Crews are continuing to provide asset protection in and around Jamieson, Merrijig, Mt. Buller and Woods Point. CFA crews are monitoring the fire edge south of Jamieson river which is backing slowly towards control lines on private property. Consolidation of tracks for a northern control line along Symes and Mitchell Stoney Creek Tracks, north east of Jamieson continues.

At the Mt. Terrible fire crews made progress on the Ryan Spur sector, including commencing backburning operations, taking advantage of the favourable weather conditions. Backburning will continue tonight, conditions permitting.

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 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.

Residents should continue to defend their homes from embers, and ensure that they are wearing the correct clothing. Residents should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy boots, and a broad brimmed hat. On no account should synthetic material be worn.

Residents should expect that embers from this fire may continue to arrive for several hours, and should not lessen their work to protect their homes. Residents should continue to patrol their homes and check roof spaces, under-floor spaces, and areas where leaves commonly gather to ensure that nothing is burning.

As the front of the fire approaches, it will become unsafe to be either on foot or in a car as the heat radiating from the fire will be intense. Residents should avoid being exposed to radiant heat at all costs, and should make use of structures like their homes to shelter as the fire front passes. Residents should wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy boots and a broad brimmed hat. On no account should synthetic material be worn.

Community Meetings

Click here for list of community meetings.

Community Relief Centres

Community relief centres have been set up at the following locations where accomodation and food will be available:

  • Bright Community Centre
  • Harrietville Community Hall
  • Mansfield Community Centre
  • Mount Beauty Community Centre
  • Moyhu Memorial Hall

North East fires school closures – 3.20am

A number of schools in fire affected areas have been closed.

The following schools in areas affected by the North East fires will remain closed:

  • Myrrhee Primary School
  • Whitfield District Primary School
  • Edi Upper Primary School
  • Merrijig Primary School
  • Jamieson Primary School
  • Mount Beauty Primary School
  • Mount Beauty Secondary School
  • Tawonga Primary School

Written by Greg Naylor

12 December 2006 at 10:47 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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