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Fire and storms – all in a day’s work

22 November 2016

Victorian emergency services worked in difficult conditions yesterday battling heat, fires, wild winds and storms.

Emergency services attended around 47 fires yesterday with five sparked by dry lightning and were quickly contained. The biggest fire of the day was in Swan Hill, in Victoria’s north west.

The Parsons Road fire started in cropping stubble and spread to around 322-ha. It was contained ahead of Donald-Swan Hill Road.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said firefighters worked in challenging conditions yesterday, with erratic conditions, damaging winds and temperatures of up to 40 degrees.

“A CFA truck from Swan Hill was involved in a burnover yesterday; the crew involved were able to deploy safety measures. There were minor injuries to two firefighters,” he said.

“A number of roads around the fire remain closed today.”

An intense storm also swept across the state yesterday afternoon, bringing with it damaging winds, dry lightning and bursts of intense rain.

Since 4pm yesterday VicSES responded to 435 Requests for Assistance, including 200 overnight.

The hardest hit areas were Truganina and Altona Meadows, with around 80 per cent of calls relating to building damage.

Fire emergency crews also assisted Ambulance overnight responding to 11 weather-related respiratory cases.

There were more than 1900 calls for ambulance in a five hour period from 6pm.

“Firefighters trained in emergency medical response assisted Ambulance Victoria with response to 11 cases, one of which required transport to hospital by ambulance ,” Mr Lapsley said.

“This is another great example of emergency services working together for the Victorian community.”