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Media Releases

Gippsland fires update

2 February 2019

Yesterday was a testing day for firefighters and communities with a number of new fires starting as the weather warmed up, fuels dried out and the wind strengthened.

Regional Controller, Ben Rankin said the fire at the southern end of the Moondarra State Park was challenging.

“It put communities in the Tanjil South area under emergency warning late yesterday. A quick response by Forest Fire Management Victoria and CFA crews, assisted by a Large Air Tanker, fixed-wing planes and water-bombing helicopters held the fire within the State Park,” he said.

“This fire was contained overnight and firefighters will continue with extinguishing any smouldering material within the containment line and patrolling for hot spots.

“Another fire south of Grantville in the far south-west of the region also spread quickly yesterday afternoon, threatening nearby communities and closing the Bass Highway. This fire is not yet contained and work continues on constructing solid lines around it.

“We had a few other new fires in remote areas yesterday, that likely started from previously undetected lightning strikes. Those are now contained or remain at very small sizes.

“The three larger fires at Thomson Divide, Walhalla – Stoney Creek and Timbarra all continue to have work done to strengthen control lines with machinery, aircraft and ground operations and all Incident Controllers are reporting good progress.

“We’re putting as many resources as possible into holding the fire edges and preventing further spread ahead of tomorrow’s hot weather.

“If you’re camping this weekend, please make sure you plan ahead, have all the information you need and that you’re aware of the current situation in the area you’re planning to visit,” Mr Rankin said.

Stay informed about the weather and be observant about what’s happening around you. Visit the VicEmergency website, download the VicEmergency app or call 1800 226 226. Tune in to local radio and keep an eye on social media.

Gippsland has plenty of great camping spots available for this weekend, but with the current fire situation and a high fire danger day coming up tomorrow (Sunday), we’re encouraging campers to avoid heading into forest areas and go to campsites within or close to townships.

Be extra careful with campfires – if in doubt, don’t light one. If it’s not a Total Fire Ban day and you must have a campfire, never leave it unattended and extinguish it fully with plenty of water before you leave.