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Media Releases

Crews continue attack on Big Desert blaze

21 January 2018

Firefighters are making good progress in hot and arduous conditions, as they work to control a fire burning in the Big Desert Wilderness Park.

25 firefighters in ten vehicles are working on the ground to create control lines around the edge of the fire, which continues to burn near the border with South Australia. 

Six water bombering aircraft continue to drop fire retardant in support of on ground operations along the edge of a fire, which has now burnt through an area of 3849 hectares, having doubled its size on Saturday.

The Big Desert WP fire is burning in a remote area and does not currently pose a risk to communities, however smoke remains visible around the area.

Locals are however being advised to keep an eye on conditions and be mindful of smoke in the area and emergency vehicles on the road. Numerous fire trucks and heavy machinery operating today (Sunday) on the Nhill-Murrayville Road.

Motorists are to keep road clear where possible and slow down to 40 kilometres per hour when approaching emergency vehicles.

Conditions remain hot and dry in the north of the state and a Total Fire Ban remains in place for the Mallee District, where the fire danger rating is listed as Severe.

Multiple fires were started by lighting around the area on Friday evening – while all but one are now under control, crews will continue to patrol and black out each of the burnt areas.

With further hot weather forecast across the district for the next week, crews are working hard to contain this fire, and remain on high alert for any flare ups or fires that may start.

Smoke from the fire remains visible across nearby communities and roads, including the Nhill-Murrayville road.

An Advice message remains in place for communities in Underbool, Big Desert, Boinka, Carina, Cowangie, Danyo, Murrayville, Ngallo, Panitya, Telopea Downs, Tutye and Waggon Flat.