Fire danger eases, yet remains a threat

Fire danger eases, yet remains a threat

Fire activity since Sunday has kept residents at Dargo and surrounding areas on high alert.

While weather conditions eased somewhat on Tuesday with temperatures dropping to the early 20s, many affected by the fires have voiced concerns and pointed the finger to fuel load for the out of control blazes, particularly those affected by the Bunyip fire.

On Monday those in the Dargo area were told it was too late to leave, however rain helped ease the concern later in the day and the threat was downgraded to Watch and Act.

“Several fires are burning to the north and north west of the Dargo community. Some fantastic work by CFA (Country Fire Authority) and FFMVic (Forest Fire Management) crews in the Dargo valley prevented any significant fire spread near private property,” regional information officer, Andy Oldroyd, said.

“A Watch and Act Message remains in place for communities directly impacted by this fire. The fires are a combined 12,250 hectares in size.”

The township is somewhat surrounded by five separate blazes. The High Country is also following Vic Emergency advice to stay on alert in areas including Anglers
Rest, Cobungra, Dinner Plain, Hotham Heights and Omeo.

“Three fires are burning directly south of the Dinner Plain township,” Mr Oldroyd said.

“The fires increased in size on Monday, driven by high level winds. The combined fire size is 3885 hecatres.”

While there is no imminent danger from a fire burning 8km southwest of Dinner Plain, the blaze is situated in a difficult spot for firefighters to operate.

Community meetings were held in Briagolong, Dinner Plain and Omeo yesterday to inform residents of each fire situation.

A band of lightning crossed parts of the region on Monday evening, starting 21 new fires.

There is a new cluster of small fires west of Omeo in the Cobungra State Forest, several fires around the Buchan area and fires between Orbost and Cann River.

Seven of these fires have already been listed as contained or under control due to a very quick response from Forest Fire Management Victoria crews.

It was expected that more new fires would be identified by aircraft yesterday morning.

FFMVic firefighters supported by aircraft will continue working on these fires to ensure that they do not increase.