Police man roadblocks

Police man roadblocks

Local police are manning all roadblocks in the East Gippsland area to ensure tourists donʼt attempt to slip into the fire areas.

The Great Alpine Road between Bruthen and Ensay remained closed on Monday after being cut by fires prior to Christmas.

While residents are still able to access the area, police began manning the roadblock over the weekend after reports tourists were ignoring the road closed sign.

Sergeant Dwayne Morrison of East Gippsland Highway Patrol said the road was closed for good reason.

“We have fallen trees over the Great Alpine Road and emergency services are needing to access the area,” Sgt Morrision said.

“We actually had burnt leaves landing on us on Sunday.

“What we don’t need is people willy nilly risking their lives to drive through there.”

Sgt Morrison said people, who had bookings at accommodation in Omeo and Bright were asking how else they could reach their respective destinations.

He said police were advising they drive through the Yarra Valley and up along the Hume Highway.

Sgt Morrison says once police explained the extreme fire risk to them most were relatively happy to turn around and return home.

He said police had gone door to door to speak with local residents who are situated along the Great Alpine Road.

Sgt Morrison said local residents were still allowed through the roadblock with many having made the decision to stay and defend their properties.

“We’ve been informing them of what is in front of them and that the consequences are diabolical if things turn pear shaped,” he said.

As of Monday morning, police were managing traffic at 10 road closures in East Gippsland.

IMAGE: Local police at the road closure on the Great Alpine Road between Bruthen and Ensay. Pictured are Leading Senior Constables Belinda Kinsey, Bruthenʼs policeman, Murray Porter, and Sergeant Dwayne Morrison from the Highway Patrol Unit. K1563-3180