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Update for Ovens Valley, King Valley, Mt Buller and Upper Murray area

2 January 2020

This information is for everyone located in the Ovens Valley, King Valley, Mt Buller and Upper Murray area, locations including;

  • Ovens Valley including; Mt Hotham, Dinner Plain, Harrietville, Wandiligong.
  • Upper Murray including; Walwa, Tintaldra, Towong, Upper Towong, Thowgla, Tom Groggin, Biggara, Bunroy, Nariel Valley, Lucyvale, Berringama, Shelley, Koetong, Bullioh, Tallangatta Valley.
  • Mount Buller
  • King Valley - Dandongadale and Upper King Area including Whitfield.

These locations are expected to be impacted by fire, spot fires and ember attacks or the fire will close major roads resulting in communities being isolated.

You should leave today, Thursday 2 January and stay away from this area on Friday and Saturday.

If you do not leave today you may become isolated and your route to safer locations may be blocked. Road closures may occur, including roads that have recently been reopened, if they are threatened or impacted by fire. 

If you are in these areas or in Bright, Porepunkah, Myrtleford it is critical that you monitor warnings and stay informed. You should follow the instructions of emergency services.

You need to check VicEmergency for warnings frequently. If you are currently in an area that is under a warning you must follow the instructions in that warning.

If you are in these areas you need to move to a built up area like Wangaratta or Wodonga. You must get to a built up area before Friday morning as the risk of fires increases after this time.

Wangaratta and Wodonga are areas that have been identified as defendable by emergency services. When you arrive you should proceed to the nominated relief centre. Emergency services will advise when it’s safe to return or travel to family and friends who are outside the area.

Before you travel check that your planned route and destination are not currently under threat from fire. While travelling you should monitor weather conditions by listening to local or ABC radio as the situation may change quickly.

All Forests and Parks in the area are closed to the public.

Do not wait until a fire starts near you to move to a safer location. Fires that start or run over the next few days are likely to grow significantly and may become uncontrollable.

Do not rely on firefighting crews to protect you and your property.

When travelling take care on the roads and drive to the conditions. Smoke from these fires may impact visibility when driving.

There are a number of major and local roads currently closed as a result of the fires.

When you leave you should take the following items with you:

  • Cash
  • Clothing for 3 days
  • Medicine for 3 days
  • Phone and chargers
  • Toiletries
  • Important documents
  • Mementos and photos
  • Pets essentials, including leash and carriers
  • Make sure you have enough petrol in your car

If you have left ensure you register with www.Register.Find.Reunite online: – Walwa Fire. This service lets people know you are safe, that you have relocated away from the area, and is used by emergency services if evacuations are required. People leaving early, or who relocate from the fire area, are asked to register as soon as possible.

Relief Centres are open:

  • Corryong - Corryong High School, 27-45 Towong Road, Corryong
  • Tallangatta - Tallangatta Memorial Hall
  • Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre 33-37 Ford St.
  • Animals: Wangaratta Showgrounds Golf Link Lane
  • Wodonga: The Cube, 118 Hovell St

Major road closures include:

  • The Murray Valley Highway, from Bullioh to Corryong
  • Benambra-Corryong Road from Benambra to Murray Valley Highway (Colac Colac)
  • Murray River Road from Granya to Tintaldra
  • Cudgewa-Tintaldra Road from Murray Valley Highway to Murray River Road
  • Shelley-Walwa Road from Murray Valley Highway to Walwa
  • Mount Buffalo Road within Mt Buffalo National Park 

You can view a map of the area here: