GFMC: Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

Bush and Forest Fires in Australia

28 Januar 2003


Latest satellite images: BushfiresRaging in Southeast Australia

The weather in southeast Australia refuses to cooperate with firefightersbattling dozens of out-of-control bushfires in the Great Dividing RangeMountains in southeast New South Wales and northeast Victoria. Crews arepreparing for another long weekend. Temperatures over the Jan. 25 weekend areexpected to reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), and gusty winds willcontinue to fan the flames. This true-color ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Terrasatellite on 24  January  2003, shows the detection of active firesmarked with red dots. The billowing smoke drapes the southern part of thecontinent. To south, a few fires were detected on Tasmania as well. West ofTasmania, the waters are swirling with color, which could indicate a bloom ofmarine plants called phytoplankton.
Source:NASA/ EO

 

The bushfires in southeasternAustralia continue to burn out of control, producing thick smoke. Thesenew  ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image composit,  show the smoke plume spreading thousands ofkilometers over the Pacific Ocean on Jan. 19, and then switching directions on23 January 2003. 12 Images, Updated: 23 January 2003

Source: NASA/ EO

 

 

Heat signatures (red), burn scars(charcoal), and smoke (light blue haze) are visible from burning out of controlthroughout southeastern Australia  in this ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image  from 24  January 2003, captured by theTerra satellite. 

Source: OSEI/NOAA

 

Heat signatures (red), burn scars(charcoal), and smoke (light blue haze) are visible from fires burning inTasmania, Australia, in this  ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image  from 24  January 2003, captured by theTerra satellite. On Thurday nine blazes were still burning out of control.

Source: OSEI/NOAA

 

This false-color map of theworld  shows an aerosol index produced from data collected by the Total ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) on22  January 2003.The large cluster of fires in Australia in southern New South Wales is easily identified by the large area of red. The aerosol plume clearly affects a larger area than it seems to in true-color imagery. This is because the TOMS aerosol index uses observations collected in the ultraviolet (UV) part of the spectrum. Aerosols that appear transparent in true-color imagery can be revealed by UV analysis. The principle is similar to certain “invisible” magic markers that produce writing that can only be seen under special UV (“black”) lights. 

Source: Total ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS)


Fire Weather Forecast for the Pacific Region

click here to enlarge (21 KB)

Fire Weather Index for the 
Pacific Region for tomorrow.
(Source: ECPCFire Weather Index Forecast)

 

 

Overview Australia 

Strong winds defeat firefighters’ best efforts
Sunday, 26 January 2003   9:46 PM AEDT

Valiant firefighters in Victoria are losing the battle against hightemperatures and strong winds today, with several homes lost and many firesjumping containment lines.Sixteen houses caught fire on Mt Hotham thisafternoon, as bushfires roared over the mountain. Despite being forced toprotect themselves and their trucks, firefighters managed to save 10 of thehomes after the firefront passed. Two houses and a lodge are also believed tohave been destroyed at the Bogong Village, after spot fires raced up the EastKiewa River Valley. Overall the Country Fire Authority (CFA) says the situationin the Bogong complex has eased. However, with a wind change expected tonightfirefighters are fearing the worst. A house has also been lost at Omeo, andauthorities are yet to confirm losses of three houses at Benambra. In otherareas, firefighters believe they have little hope of controlling a fire that hasbroken out in the Wabba Wilderness Park near Corryong in Victoria’s north east.The latest outbreak is a severe blow to firefighters. A spot fire jumped acontainment line and has entered the Wabba Wilderness Park. It is now burning inrugged terrain and firefighters believe they have little hope of stopping it.Firefighters have abandoned efforts to attack the fire directly and are nowbuilding containment lines. Further south Dartmouth is still under threat, firehas moved through the town but there has been no confirmed losses. Work iscontinuing to protect the Falls Creek village, which has also been under threat.Three CFA fire crews had a close brush with death, after surviving a 30 minutefire storm in their bid to save homes at Cobungra, south of Dinner Plain inVictoria’s high country. The men sheltered inside their trucks, coveringthemselves with blankets and water sprays as the fire burnt over the top ofthem. The trucks were blistered and twisted by the intense heat. One of thefirefighters, Andy Farmer, says there was a moment when he thought they wouldnot survive. “The vehicle after a period of time started to get hot and wecould see the other vehicles around and tyres started to burn and we could seethe equipment on the front of the other trucks melting,” Mr Farmer said.”I felt the glass and realised it was at a point that it could explode… Iguess that was an emotional time.” 

Source: ABC news

Bush fires have continued to rage in several parts of south-easternAustralia, destroying at least another 10 homes and forcing many residents toflee.

Sunday,26 January, 2003, 10:34 GMT

The fires, fuelled by rising temperatures and high winds, are particularlystrong in the Snowy Mountains, which straddle the states of New South Wales andVictoria. But so far emergency teams have prevented a repeat of last Saturday’sdisaster near the capital, Canberra – where four people were killed and 530homes went up in flames. On Sunday, six homes were destroyed in the mountainvillage of Cobungra, the authorities in Victoria state say. At least four homesare believed to have been lost in other villages in the Snowy Mountains. “In Australian terms, this is as mountainous as it gets and it’s heavilyforested and the forests are very, very dry up there,” Victoria stateenvironment department spokesman Mike Leonard said.  The fires have alsobeen fanned by high summer temperatures and winds of about 70 kilometres (40miles) an hour. Florence De Vries, a businesswoman in Omeo, said her hometownwas virtually deserted as residents fled the approaching flames. “There’svery few people on the main street, we can actually see the smoke building up onthe hills when the fires start,” she told Australian Associated Press newsagency. One of Australia’s main ski mountain resorts, Thredbo, was evacuatedlast week. Bush fires have already destroyed some 260,000 hectares (650,000acres) of national parkland in Victoria over the past couple of weeks. Elsewherein Australia, more than 80 fires are continuing to burn across New South Wales.The state’s emergency services minister Bob Debus said the blazes had turned theAustralian Day national holiday – which fell on Sunday – in a “national dayof crisis”. Firefighters in Tasmania say they have gained control of a firethat was threatening the suburbs of the state capital, Hobart. Bush fires havealso been reported across the country, in Western Australia

Source:  BBCnews


Evacuations
26 January 2003 , 10:09AM

Sydney – Authorities ordered residents to evacuate the Australian resort town ofThredbo on Sunday as bushfires broke containment lines and destroyed at leastfour homes in the state of Victoria. The Victorian Country Fire Service said thehomes were lost at Cobungra, near the NSW-Victoria border and warned othertownships in the alpine region that straddles the two states under threat. Therewere also unconfirmed reports of more property losses in the town of Omeo andMount Hotham. NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Phil Koperberg said the fireswere making “troublesome runs” towards populated areas. He said allnon-essential personnel had been evacuated from Thredbo, which was under emberattack, and the rest of the region was on high alert. The property losses cameas more than four thousand firefighters battled against scores of bushfiresraging in the drought-stricken east. After initally holding the fires withincontainment lines, firefighters lost control of the alpine region blazes whenthey were whipped up by strong late afternoon winds of 70 kilometres per hour.Other fires were burning on the outskirts of Sydney, Canberra and Hobart.Authorities fear the extreme conditions will lead to a repeat of the firestormthat swept through the suburbs of Canberra last weekend, claiming four lives anddestroying 530 homes.

Source:  IOL news


A.C.T.

Canberra threat eases
Sunday, 26 January 2003   9:46 PM AEDT

The fire threat to the national capital, Canberra, has eased significantly,though fires continue to burn north-west of the city. The New South Wales RuralFire Service has closed the Mountain Creek Road near Burrinjuck Dam, from YassRoad to Fairleight Junction, to construct fire containment lines. The secondfire at Macintyre’s Hut, is closest to Canberra at around 10 kilometres from theurban edge. However, it is mostly under control and poses no immediate threat.

Source: ABC news

 

Canberra
Sunday ,  26 January  2003 1:41 AM AEDT

In the ACT, backburning operations have created a 100-metre buffer zone aroundCanberra’s north-western suburbs. Residents are preparing for the possibility ofmore fires after more than 500 houses were destroyed and four people were killedin bushfires last weekend. The major concern is the McIntyre’s Hut fire, whichhas been contained about 10 kilometres north-west of residential areas. MikeCastle from the Emergency Services Bureau says the buffer zone will help protectsuburbs in Canberra’s north-west if there is a weather change. “This is allcontingency for the possibility of the fires up in McIntryes and beyond, if theyreally got a head of steam up and came out of containment lines,” he said.More than 1,000 emergency services workers have been deployed around Canberra todeal with any bushfire threat today. The Emergency Services Bureau says it willnot issue fire alerts for today but staff will be reviewing weather forecastsfor tomorrow.

Source: ABC news

 

 

Latest information from theemergency services bureau 
Sunday,  26 January 2003   1800hrs

There is a heightened bushfireawareness warning for today, Sunday 26 January 2003, for NW Canberra.

Temperatures are forecast to reach 38C with NW winds gusting to 45km/hr.

Today, Sunday, is predicted to be a day of extreme fire danger.

  • Fires continue to burn to Canberra’s north-west and south
  • Residents of the northern suburbs should prepare their homes in case the McIntyre fire 10kms NW breaks its containment line.
  • People should stay tuned to local media for regular updates on the fire.
  • The ongoing smoke haze over Canberra is proving favourable in keeping down temperatures and increasing moisture content in the air. Residents should not be alarmed as smoke drifts across the city from the fires.

    North

  • A spot fire has crossed from north to south, in rugged bushland near Burrinjuck Dam to Canberra’s north-west. It is burning freely in a south-westerly direction near the western Burrinjuck Dam wall. The NSW Rural Fire Service, is continuing to closely monitor this spot fire and is working towards its containment. This fire is approximately 40km away from suburban Canberra and poses no immediate threat to the ACT. Residents in the Wee Jasper area have been alerted to the fire’s progress. The fire is currently 10km from the village of Wee Jasper.
  • The McIntyre’s Hut Fire is still burning about 2km west of the Mountain Creek Road, approximately 10km from suburban Canberra(north-west) on a 500 metre front. The fire is contained but remains a serious threat. Residents of Belconnen, Hall and Gungahlin are advised to remain calm but alert.
  • A 12km long fire break has been created, 100m wide, between two grader lines from Holt and the Barton Highway.

    South

  • The Mt Morgan and Yaok Valley fires in NSW immediately to the south of the S-W ACT border have joined together and are burning freely. NSW fire fighting units are closely monitoring this fire and crews will remain in attendance overnight.
  • The Naas Valley fire, which was burning behind containment lines, has been blacked out by aerial bombing.
  • The Smith Road fire is still to the west of the Murrumbidgee to the south of the ACT and does not look like crossing the river today.(26 January)
  • A fire in the Oldfields Hut area (S of the ACT Border) is burning slowly east. There will be emphasis on property protection in the Gudgenby Valley
  • These fires that are burning south of Tuggeranong, in the SE corner of the ACT pose no threat to Canberra’s southern suburbs. Much of this fire is burning freely in rugged bushland and could take several weeks to contain

    Cannberrans are asked to remain calm but vigilant over the long weekend.

    A total fire ban is in force until midnight on Monday 27 January 2003

    A State of Emergency is in place until Monday 27 Januray 2003

         Follow-up media contact: EmergencyServices Bureau 6207 8564; or 6207 8458

 

 

Weather and Fireban Status

The Chief Fire Control Officer, underSection 7A of the Bushfire Act 1936, has extended the FIVE DAY FIREBANfor the ACT for a further SIX DAYS. The total fire ban will now be in forceuntil midnight Monday 27  January 2003.

Sunday: Hot, freshening W-NW winds, 25-35km, gusting to 45km/h. Temp16-38
Monday: Becoming cooler, partly cloudy, possible showers, W-NW winds 25to 35km easing, late SE/E change expected, Temp 18-30
Tuesday: Dry, 10-20km Easterly winds, freshening later to 20-30km, Temp29
Wednesday: Becoming hotter with 15-25km NE-N winds. Temp 13-37
Thusday: 35-45km winds gusting to 50-60km later, resulting in a high firedanger prediction. Temp 19-36

For more information on weatherupdates in the ACT visit the Bureauof Meteorology

Source:
canberraconnect

NEW SOUTH WALES:

Four day Statewide Total Fire Ban from midnight Thursday 23 January to midnight Monday 27 January

Extreme fire dangerweather conditions predicted for the Australia Day long weekend has caused theCommissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service to declare a special four day,Statewide Total Fire Ban. The special declaration is unprecedented in NSWhistory and will run from midnight tonight, Thursday 23 January to midnightMonday 27 January.
Conditions are expected to begin to deteriorate tomorrow but will peak on Sundaywith 43 degree temperatures and strong northwesterly winds.
There is currently over 100km of active fire in NSW’s southeast, which will beparticularly vulnerable to such extreme weather.
Communities are expected to come under threat and fire authorities are currentlypreparing resources for what will be a very challenging weekend.
During a Total Fire Ban no fire of any kind may be lit in the open. Thisincludes incinerators and barbecues which burn solid fuel, e.g. wood orcharcoal. You may use a gas or electric barbecue, but only if……
· It is on residential property within 20m of the house or dwelling;
· It is under the direct control of a responsible adult;
· The ground around the barbecue is cleared for 3m of all material which couldburn;
· You have a continuous supply of running water.
A map identifying the boundaries of weather districts can be found on the Bureauof Meteorology web site at http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/nsw/dist_map.shtml. Members of the public can phone 1 800 654 443 or their local NSW Rural FireService Fire Control Centre for more information.
THIS TOTAL FIRE BAN INFORMATION SHOULD BE CARRIED AS PART OF ALL WEATHERFORECAST BROADCASTS IN THE LEAD UP TO AND DURING THE TOTAL FIRE BAN PERIOD.
The Rural Fires Act 1997 – Section 99 (2) states: “As soon as practicableafter making a direction under this section, the Minister is … (a) to causenotice of the direction to be broadcast by a television or radio stationtransmitting to the part or parts of the State concerned and in a newspapercirculating in those parts”

FOR MEDIA ONLY: For more information or interviews regarding fire danger &fire safety:
Duty Media Officer 02 9898 1855.

NSW containment lines broken
Sunday, 26 January, 2003, 10:34 GMT

Almost all the fires burning in the south-east corner of NSW have brokencontainment lines. 
Thredbo is being evacuated as fire bears down on the snow resort. The Rural FireService has more than 4,000 people on the ground battling fires from the SnowyMountains to the ACT border. Many left Thredbo days ago but RFS CommissionerPhil Koperburg says the situation has deteriorated today with severe emberfalls. Residents at Ingebyra in the Snowies are being asked to ready forevacuation to Jindabyne as the fire threat increases with winds up to 80kilometres an hour. Shauna Hulbert moved to a Jindabyne evacuation centre withher six children after fire began heading towards her Moonbah Valley home, nearThredbo. “My husband had just finished fighting the fire and got home andhe looked up the mountain, Round Mountain, and just said, ‘let’s get packingnow’,” Ms Hulbert said. “We just threw everything in the car, roundedup the kids and we can’t find the cat but she’ll come home.” Firefightershave doorknocked homes at Yaouk area near Mount Morgan. Authorities holdconcerns for remote properties in the area. RFS spokesman John Winter saysproperty protection across the Snowies is a high priority. “Property islikely to come under threat this afternoon. Fire crews are being moved to ensurethat as that threat is developing they are located to provide the best possibleprotection for those particularly isolated dwellings and homesteads,” hesaid. “We are going to find it difficult as the afternoon progresses.”In other parts of New South Wales a fire in the Kanimbla Valley in the BlueMountains has broken containment lines and may run into the back of Mt Victoria.A fire in the Wollemi National Park is unchecked but does not pose a threat toproperty. New fires on the northern tablelands have been blamed on lightning. 

Source: ABC news

Statewide Fire Update 
Sunday, 26 January 2003,  1900 hours

About 4000 firefighterswere working on over 60 fires across the State, the majority in NSW’s southeast. 

Major backburning, bulldozing and aerial incendiary operations have beenundertaken to prepare containment lines, particularly on fires affecting thesouth east of NSW, including Kosciuszko National Park and areas surrounding andincluding the ACT.

Extreme fire danger weather conditions predicted for today caused theCommissioner of the NSW Rural Fire Service to declare a special four day,Statewide Total Fire Ban.

These extreme conditions have eventuated and have caused a significant increasein fire activity especialy in southern NSW.

Yarrowlumla/ACT
The fireground spreads over 215,000ha from northeast of Wee Jasper in the Northto Michelago 75 km further south and includes areas of the ACT and NSW.

The fire is burning in the Brindabella National Park in the north, KosciuszkoNational Park in the southwest and Namadgi National Park in the centre andsouth.

Fire is contained on the western side of Canberra, north from Williamsdale tothe suburbs of Holt, and west to Fairlight in the north.

Fire is breaking containment line in many areas and has the potential tothreaten property in the Yaouk Valley and Lake Burinjuck.

The fires are believed to have been caused by lightning strikes on January 8,2003, and spread under the influence of extreme fire weather last week.

Over 400 personnel are working on the fire in the Yarrowlumla, Queanbeyan, Yassand Cooma Rural Fire Districts, with out-of-area crews from around NSWcontinuing to assist local brigades.

Property protection, construction of containment lines are the continuingpriorities of fire crews this afternoon.

Weather conditions have deteriorated today and pose significant problems forfirefighters. Temperatures have reached 40 degrees in may parts of the state andnorthwesterly winds have gusted up to 75km/h in some areas.

Firefighting Tasks 26/01/03
Yarrowlumla (Northern, South East, Western, Burra and Sutton Divisions
Predicted hot dry weather conditions today could put pressure on containmentlines in the South East and Cooma Monaro Divisions and fall-back containmentlines have been identified for breeches of containment lines under theseconditions.

Rapid response property protection teams have been deployed to Yarrowlumla Shireand to the ACT. They will be based at Sutton and the South East Divisions.

Northern: the Rams Flat backburn was patrolled and mopped up yesterday.Today crews in the section will continue mop up and patrol activities onbackburns and containment lines to contain the fire within Sawyers Gully andFairlight Divisions and to the west of Mount Creek Road. A spotover has occurredin this area today and is being waterbombed extensively.

Western: Containment lines were established in the Western Divisionyesterday, and today crews will continue to patrol, mop up, and protect propertyalong the Brindabella Road and in the Brindabella Valley. Spotting has occurredthis afternoon in the Brindabella Valley and crews are waterbombing the area.

South East: Containment lines have been established in the section andthose west of the Monaro Highway have been consolidated and deepened. Crewstoday will focus on containing the fire west of control lines and to consolidatethe containment line on the eastern side of the Murrumbidgee River.

South (Cooma):
The fire is slowing impacting upon the Yaouk Valley and is causing no immediatethreat to property.

Crews in the Cooma area yesterday conducted successful backburning along theNaas Creek and Mt Clear Campground area.

The main concern today is the progress of the Mt Morgan fire, which is expectedto move under predicted northwest winds through the Tumut and Jindabyne RuralFire Districts from the Kosciuszcko National Park into the Cooma Rural FireDistrict.

Communities from Michelago to Cooma and Yaouk Valley residents are warned to beaware of fire in their general area and to make the appropriate preparations totheir homes and properties.

ACT Managed
The ACT manages the section of fire from Guises Creek in the south to KaveneysRoad in the north (Belconnen Division). Yesterday containment lines werepatrolled and property protection was undertaken in the north around Hall,surrounding NSW and Wallaroo areas. Additional containment lines to thenorthwest of Canberra have also been established. Crews will be consolidatingthese containment lines today and carryout property protection if required.

Western – Tumut
Tumut Fire Control is managing the Blue Water holes Division and part of theYarrowlumla S44 Western Division. Containment lines and property protectionmeasure have been established in the Yaouk area yesterday and this will becontinued today.

Yass
The Childowla fire burning near Lake Burinjuck has crossed the dam wall and hasthe potential to impact upon Wee Jasper. The fire has entered the Black AndrewRecreation area and residents have been advised to increase their preparationactivities.

Residents to remain FireWise
Residents are reminded to adhere to the four-day, Statewide, Total Fire Ban thatis in force until midnight tomorrow, Monday 27 January 2003 and to prepare theirproperties for deteriorating conditions this afternoon.

Kosciuszko National Park
Fire activity has increased dramatically this afternoon in many areas of theKosciuszko National Park. Containment lines have been breached under extremeconditions and strong northwesterly winds. Spotting has occurred around Thredbo,south of Jindabyne and residents of the Ingebyrah village have been evacuated toJindabyne. Fire crews were forced to fallback form many areas when conditionsbecame extreme. The fire has crossed the Alpine Way and has reached the BarryWay which is now closed.

Telecommunications have been impacted by the fire in and around Thredbo.
The main fire is now west ofg the Barry Way.

Kanimbla Valley
Four fires started south of the Great Western Highway between Little Hartley andMt Victoria at around 6:30pm on Saturday 25 January.
The fires total about 40ha in size and 58 RFS crews worked on the firesovernight to bring them under control, and similar numbers continued working onthem today.

Three bulldozers and two graders are assisting to improve control lines andworking on cleaning up fall-back lines. Three helicopters have been waterbombing hot spots for most of the day.

The fires do not currently pose any threat to property and currently, the firewill not affect traffic on the Great Western Highway.

Blackheath and surrounding areas should remain on alert and will be advisedimmediately by local radio should there be any change in the situation.

Gosford
Firefighters are assessing safety and conducting tree felling operations in theWondabyne area to enable rail authority crews to repair cabling affected by theMyron Brook fire yesterday.

Damage to signalling infrastructure caused the closure of the northern railwayline last night.

The fire began on January 18 and has burned 4000ha.

Sydney Basin
Two small fires were going near Middle Dural this afternoon but have beencontained and are causing no threat to property.

For moreinformation (Please note this is for MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY):Media Only (02) 98981855

Websites: www.npws.nsw.gov.au    or      www.rfs.nsw.gov.au

Weather: Bureau of meteorologywebsite with educational material about bushfires which may be useful for themedia for background material: www.bom.gov.au/inside/services_policy/fireag/bushfire/bushfire.htm

Radio: Listen to Radio 2XL, Snowy Mountains FM and ABC Bega

Source: NSW Rural FireService 

 

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VICTORIA:

OVERVIEW

Gusty winds put Vic towns under threat again
Sunday , 26 January  2003    23:26 AEDT

Gusty winds have picked up in Victoria’s alpine region and are fuellingfires. Winds are now pushing blazes towards the townships of Mitta Mitta,Towonga and Towonga South. Residents in these towns have been asked to implementtheir fire emergency plans. Chris Halpin, from the Benalla incident controlcentre, says the change has also placed Mt Beauty under threat. “It’schallenged a few of our fires across the north-east,” Mr Halpin said.”We’ve just had advice from Mt Beauty that a fire on the big hill ridgeabove the town has picked up speed as a result of the wind behind it and isthreatening power and Telstra infrastructure.”

Source: ABC news

TOTAL FIRE BAN FOR VICTORIA 
26January 2003

Today Sun, 26 Jan 2003 has been declared a Day of Total Fire Ban in the NorthWestern, North Eastern, Central and Eastern Total Fire Ban district(s) ofVictoria.No fires may be lit or be allowed to remain alightin the open air from Sun, 26 Jan 2003 12:00 AM until Mon, 27 Jan 2003 12:00 AM.

GENERAL FIRE UPDATE 
26 January  2003   7.15pm

An overview of the fire situation in the North East Area
Falls Creek:
The Town has been protected and there are no losses.

Bogong Village:
95% of the village has been saved by aggressive fire fighting. Three houses andone lodge have been confirmed as lost.

Cobungra:
16 houses are reported to be on fire. Ten houses have been saved by aggressivefire fighting. Confirmed losses are six houses, one car and one shed.

Dinner Plain:
The town has been protected and there are no losses.

Omeo:
The town has been protected. There is an unconfirmed loss of one house.

Swifts Creek:
The town is under ember attack, but is protected and there are no losses.

Benambra:
The town protected There is an unconfirmed loss of three houses and two bridges.

Dartmouth:
Fire has passed through the town and there are no losses.

Buckland Valley:
Isolated dwellings have been protected and there are no losses.

Beechworth Complex:
The Stanley fire is being held within containment lines. The Eldorado fire isattempting to break outside of containment lights. Air attack and trucks areholding both fires. 

 

Overview Maps of North East Fires26th Jan 2003
09:30hrs 26/01/2003  Viewthe situation map, showing the fire shape.

06:00hrs 26/01/2003  Viewthe situation map, showing the fire shape.

 

Bogong East fire Update 26th Jan2003 10.30pm
Dargo Valley Fire has potential to impact on Hotham Heights andDinner Plain. There is a fire in Dargo Valley, in the Bogong East Fire Complexthat has potential to impact Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain.

Mount Beauty and Tawonga FireSituation Worsens 26th Jan 2003 9.30pm

A joint Media Release from CFA and DSE
26/01/2003

The Country Fire Authority and the Department of Sustainabilityand Environment are asking the communities of Mount Beauty,Tawonga South & Tawonga to implement their bushfire action plans.

The Bogong fire is currently threatening the communities ofthe Mount Beauty, Tawonga South & Tawonga from the South.

Residents in Mount Beauty, Tawonga South & Tawonga are advised to be alertfor possible spot fires throughout tonight.

A South West wind change has caused erratic fire behaviour and will result inincreasing embers falling on Mount Beauty and Tawonga townships.

Extreme fire behaviour has made direct attack on the fire impossible. Fire crewsare now concentrating on asset protection. However, residents need to be awarethat the neither the CFA nor DSE can guarantee a fire truck and crew to protectindividual homes.

Mount Beauty, Tawonga South & Tawonga residents should be aware of possiblethreats to themselves and are also advised to be alert throughout tonight.

Mitta Mitta Area Fire Situation Worsens 26th Jan 2003 9pm

A joint Media Release from CFA and DSE
26/01/2003

The Country Fire Authority and the Department of Sustainabilityand Environment are asking the communities of Mitta Mitta toimplement their bushfire action plans now.

The Bogong fire complex is currently threatening thecommunities of the Mitta Mitta.

Residents in the area are advised to be alert for possible spot fires throughouttonight.

Fire crews are now concentrating on asset protection. However, residents need tobe aware that the neither the CFA nor DSE can guarantee a fire truck and crew toprotect individual homes.

Community Information – School closures in North East Area 26th Jan 20036pm

The Department of Education has announced that upto 25 schoolsin the fire affected area would remain closed until at least Moday 3 February2003.
26/01/2003

Detailed Information on the School closures is available from DSECommunity Updates – available for Upper Murray, Ovens and Kiewa Valley,Gippsland, Beechworth and Bogong fires. Detailed reports, produced daily.

For further information contact your local school.

Mt Buffalo Situation – Alert for Residents 26th Jan2003 6pm

A joint Media Release from CFA and DSE
26/01/2003

High temperatures and low relative humidities combined withNorth Westerly winds have resulted in three spot fires breaching the Demon Ridgecontainment line on the Mt Buffalo fire.

Fire fighters are attempting to contain these spots. A wind change predicted forlater this evening may cause these spots to spread further.

Greg Hayes, Incident Controller, Ovens, said residents between Bright andHarrietville should be aware of the possibility of fire moving closer to them inthe next 24 hours as a result of fire activity on the Mt Buffalo and BogongFires. Residents in the Wandiligong area may need to activate their bushfireplans within that period.

Bogong Fire threatens Dartmouth 26th Jan 2003 4.30pm

A joint Media Release from CFA and DSE.
26/01/2003

The small township of Dartmouth in the State’s north eastcontinues to defend itself against advancing fire this afternoon.

Spot-fires from the northern edge of the Bogong Fire complex crossed the MittaRiver and the Mitta-Dartmouth Road around 1pm today.

Roads into the town have been blocked and residents have gathered at theDartmouth Hotel as a central assembly point.

At 4pm, the fire was burning aggressively in grassland on the northern edge ofthe township.

Emergency personnel including police are in the town, assisting residents andcommunity members to prepare for the fire front and maximise personal safety.

Five tankers have been deployed to the town to join fire crews camped there. Twohelicopters are hitting spots and assets as required.

Mt Beauty Incident Controller Ross Runnalls said grass fires had flared aroundand within the town’s boundaries.

‘A number of residents have decided to remain in Dartmouth to protect theirproperties,’ Mr Runnalls said.

A fire has also spread from the East Kiewa River, above Bogong High Plains Roadon the west side of the road under Big Hill.

All communities in the alpine region are being asked to observe changes in windspeed and/or direction and to be alert and aware of weather conditions.

People are advised to continue listening to their local radio stations forregular updates (ABC radio FM 106.5, 91.7 or 89.7, EDGE FM /3NE radio Mt Beauty& Myrtleford FM 90.1, Mt Hotham FM 89.3, Buffalo FM 99.1, Corryong FM 99.7)

Nariel Valley Fire Situation Worsens 26th Jan 5pm

A joint Media Release from CFA and DSE
26/01/2003

The Country Fire Authority and the Department of Sustainabilityand Environment are asking the communities of the NarielValley to implement their bushfire action plans now..

The Pinnabar fire complex is currently behaving erratically. It will threatenthe communities of the Nariel Valley in the near future. Residents in the areaare advised to be alert for embers and possible spot fires.

Fire crews are now concentrating on asset protection. However, residents need tobe aware that the neither the CFA nor DSE can guarantee a fire truck and crew toprotect individual homes.

Residents in the surrounding areas should be aware of possible threats tothemselves and are also advised to be alert throughout today.

All affected communities are being asked to observe changes in wind speed and/ordirection and to be alert and aware of weather conditions.

Urgent Update – Bogong East Fire 26th Jan 2003 3.40pm

Urgent Message for residents in the vicinity of the BogongFires.
26/01/2003

The township of Bogong is under extreme threat. Fire is alsoaround the Benambra township and to the South East of this Area.

Spotting is reported within 2km of Omeo township.

There has been 4 houses and some sheds lost in the Cobungra View Estate.

There is an unconfirmed reports of house lost North of Omeo.

Hinnominjie bridge over the Mitta River is also threatened.

Resources

2 strike teams and 12 task force are patrolling the main street of Omeo.

3 strike teams in the Hotham Area. CFA and DSE crews are cut off but are all inrefuge areas and safe.

Update on Alert for Residents near Mt. Buffalo 26th Jan 3pm

Based on an earlier joint media release from DSE and CFA
26/01/2003

ALERT FOR RESIDENTS. SUNDAY JANUARY 26TH,3pm

Increased Fire Behaviour from Mt Buffalo has resulted in control lines on DemonRidge being breached, leading to spotting into Mongrel’s Creek.

The fire is spotting off Demon’s Ridge into the area of Taylor’s Gully.

This fire now has the potential to move into nearby pine plantations.

Residents in local areas, including Wandiligong are advised to enact theirbushfire plans and remain vigilant.

Residents should listen to local radio stations for situation updates.

Regular updates can be heard on

ABC Radio: 106.5 or 89.7
EDGE FM/3NE Mt Beauty and Myrtleford FM 90.1
Mount Hotham 89.3
99.1 at Mount Buffalo

For further information on parks, contact Parks Victoria 131 963.

For information about public road closures and threats to private propertyplease call the Victoria Police Information Line on: 1 800 444 343 or 03 92473650.

This information is provided by the Department of Sustainability and Environmentin conjunction with the Department of Primary Industries and Parks Victoria inpartnership with the Country Fire Authority to protect our rural land inVictoria.

CFA community hotline: 13 15 99.

Summary of Current Alerts for North East Jan 26th 2.30pm

More detailed artickes on each incident are also availablebelow this article.
26/01/2003

Bogong West fire
The fire is in between Mitta Mitta and the Dartmouth township
Residents of the Dartmouth township are under threat.

Aircraft support has been requested.

Mt Beauty fire

Mt Beauty to Falls Creek Road – fire has
broken control lines

Buffalo

Bright fire heading to South west of Harrietville. Harrietville township advisedthey are at risk.

Eldorado

South West corner – a lot of fire activity, still within control lines.

Public Messages

Residents are advised to put their fire plan into action.

Residents should expect smoke and embers.

People should make sure they have all the equipment necessary to defend theirhomes (EG water, mops and buckets, the right clothing).

In the event of fire, power supplies could fail. Therefore people should havebackup battery radio and torches.

Residents should protect themselves from radiant heat by wearing the rightclothing- long sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy boots, and a broad rimmed hat.On no account should synthetic material be worn.

Residents choosing to stay and defend must remember it is active defence. Thismeans:

-taking all effort to put out any embers that may land in or on their propertyboth before the fire front arrives and for some time after it has passed.

-During the passage of the fire front, residents should avoid being exposed toradiant heat at all costs, and should make use of structures like their homes asshelter, continuing to patrol for embers inside the house.

-After the front has passed, residents should immediately begin to patrol theirhouse looking for embers or areas that area burning, and extinguish them as bestthey can.

Further details may be available in the articles below….

Dartmouth Area Fire Situation Worsens 26th Jan 1pm

A joint media release from CFA and DSE
26/01/2003

ALERT FOR RESIDENTS DARTMOUTH AREA FIRESITUATION WORSENS

The Country Fire Authority and the Department of Sustainability and Environmentare asking the community of Dartmouth to implement their bushfire action plansnow.

The Bogong Fire Complex crossed the Mitta River and the Mitta- Dartmouth Road at1 PM today. The fire is currently threatening the township of Dartmouth.Residents are advised to be alert for possible spot fires.

Residents need to be aware that the neither the CFA nor DSE can guarantee a firetruck and crew to protect individual homes.

Dartmouth residents should be aware of possible threats to themselves and arealso advised to be alert throughout today.

Things to Do:

Dress in appropriate clothing: i.e. natural fibres, long sleeved shirts and longpants, sturdy boots and head protection possibly in the form of a wide brimmedhat, and dust mask. SYNTHETIC MATERIALS SHOULD NOT BE WORN.

Conduct regular inspections of your household and immediate surrounds

Have lots of water on hand in buckets and containers; fill the bath and sinks aswell.

Once the fire front has passed, patrol the grounds of your property to ensurefalling embers do not ignite larger fires. Extinguish lit embers immediately.

All communities in the alpine region are being asked to observe changes in windspeed and/or direction and to be alert and aware of weather conditions.

For up-to-date information on fire threat residents of Towong Shire please ringTowong Shire’s Municipal Emergency Co-ordination Centre on 02 6071 5100.

Eldorado Area Fire Situation Worsens 26th Jan 2.30pm

A joint media release from CFA and DSE
26/01/2003

ELDORADO AREA FIRE SITUATION WORSENS

The Country Fire Authority and the Department of Sustainability and Environmentare asking the communities of Beechworth, Stanley, Myrtleford and Everton toimplement their bushfire action plans now.

Beechworth Incident Controller John Haynes said current NorthWesterly winds hasput crews on alert for possible spotovers to the South East of the Eldorado andStanley fires.

‘All communities in the vicinity need to be constantly considering theirbushfire emergency plans should conditions deteriorate further,’ Mr Haynes said.
‘Residents in the Beechworth, Stanley, Myrtleford and Everton need to be onalert today.

‘Expected change in wind direction to the South West could potentially putIndigo Valley and Yackandandah at risk.’

Mr Haynes also said residents in Eldorado and Everton will see heavy smoke fromthe fire burning within the containment lines.

‘All efforts are being made by ground crews and helitak aircraft to ensure thisfire is kept within the control line.’

Residents need to be aware that if the fire breaks out of control lines neitherthe CFA nor DSE can guarantee a fire truck and crew to protect individual homes.

Things to Do:

Dress in appropriate clothing: i.e. natural fibres, long sleeved shirts and longpants, sturdy boots and head protection possibly in the form of a wide brimmedhat, and dust mask. SYNTHETIC MATERIALS SHOULD NOT BE WORN.

Conduct regular inspections of your household and immediate surrounds

Have lots of water on hand in buckets and containers; fill the bath and sinks aswell.

Once the fire front has passed, patrol the grounds of your property to ensurefalling embers do not ignite larger fires. Extinguish lit embers immediately.

For up-to-date information on fire threat residents of Alpine Shire please ringAlpine Shire’s Municipal Emergency Co-ordination Centre on 03 57 550 524.

For up-to-date information on fire threat residents of Indigo Shire please ringIndigo Shire’s Municipal Emergency Co-ordination Centre on 1300 365 003.

Urgent Update – Bogong East and West fires 26th Jan 1.40pm

Urgent message for residents in the vicinity of the BogongFires
26/01/2003

Bogong East fire – Fire is now in andaround Benambra

Ember attack is being experienced in Swifts Creek
The fire is 3 km North of Omeo

Bogong West fire

The fire has crossed Mitta River and Mitta Dartmouth Road

The Dartmouth township under threat

Three CFA strike teams are in the area.

Public Messages

Residents are advised to put their fire plan into action.

Residents should expect smoke and embers.

People should make sure they have all the equipment necessary to defend theirhomes (EG water, mops and buckets, the right clothing).

In the event of fire, power supplies could fail. Therefore people should havebackup battery radio and torches.

Residents should protect themselves from radiant heat by wearing the rightclothing- long sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy boots, and a broad rimmed hat.On no account should synthetic material be worn.

Residents choosing to stay and defend must remember it is active defence. Thismeans:

-taking all effort to put out any embers that may land in or on their propertyboth before the fire front arrives and for some time after it has passed.

-During the passage of the fire front, residents should avoid being exposed toradiant heat at all costs, and should make use of structures like their homes asshelter, continuing to patrol for embers inside the house.

-After the front has passed, residents should immediately begin to patrol theirhouse looking for embers or areas that area burning, and extinguish them as bestthey can.

Mooroopna fire Update 26th Jan 12:55pm

A grass fire in Mooroopna has been contained.
26/01/2003

Residents in the Mooroopna area are advised that a small grassfire which started earlier today has now been contained.

Urgent Release -Bogong East Fire – 26th Jan 12:50pm

Spot fires have started at Benambra and Cobungra and Omeo
26/01/2003

Bogong East fire running spot fires atBenambra and Cobungra and Omeo

Winds are currently up to 70kph at Benambra

The South Westerly wind change may have impacts on the areas of Swifts Creek andEnsay.

Resources
Teams have been deployed immediately to the area.

Public Messages

People should make sure they have all the equipment necessary to defend theirhomes (EG water, mops and buckets, the right clothing).

In the event of fire, power supplies could fail. Therefore people should havebackup battery radio and torches.

Residents should protect themselves from radiant heat by wearing the rightclothing- long sleeved shirts, long pants, sturdy boots, and a broad rimmed hat.On no account should synthetic material be worn.

Residents choosing to stay and defend must remember it is active defence. Thismeans:

-taking all effort to put out any embers that may land in or on their propertyboth before the fire front arrives and for some time after it has passed.

-During the passage of the fire front, residents should avoid being exposed toradiant heat at all costs, and should make use of structures like their homes asshelter, continuing to patrol for embers inside the house.

-After the front has passed, residents should immediately begin to patrol theirhouse looking for embers or areas that area burning, and extinguish them as bestthey can.

Stay tuned to local radio stations for updates.

Bogong South Fires Update 26 Jan 2003 7am

A joint Media Release from CFA and DSE
26/01/2003

BOGONG COMPLEX (SOUTH) FIRE UPDATE

Today will produce further trying conditions for firefighters striving toprotect communities and property in Victoria’s high country.

The Bogong complex of fires has moved slowly south east overnight under theinfluence of northerly winds, putting residents at Hotham, Benambra, OmeoValley, Uplands and Shannonvale on high alert.

Spotovers are again causing problems, with breakout fires started near MountFreezeout, south west of Hotham Village and at Sloan Knob, across theBenambra-Corryong Road. The Horsehair Plains airstrip, 10kms east of DinnerPlain is also on fire after a spotover.

The Sloan Knob fire is approximately eight to ten kilometres from the PinnabarComplex fires, which are expected to join with the Bogong Complex today ortomorrow.

Protection works are being undertaken in the affected areas, with dozer controllines and hand crews working as fast as they can to secure private propertyahead of expected high temperatures and winds today.

There have been reports of phone problems in some communities, with partialservice loss in some areas, particularly Hotham, Dinner Plain, Omeo andCassilis. Residents are urged to listen to the radio and check their localnoticeboards for updates on the situation until the fault can be attended to.

The Omeo Highway north of Bruthen is now closed except to emergency vehicles andlocal traffic.

Alpine Fires Update Jan 26th 7am

A joint media release from CFA and DSE
26/01/2003

Alpine Fires Update

The CFA has declared a Total Fire Ban in the North West, North East, Central andGippsland regions today.

Firecrews continue to work hard over Australia Day Weekend

CURRENT SUMMARY

The difficult fire weather expected in the north-east yesterday was tempered bythe large amount of smoke in the area. Humidity was higher and the winds (NW)were more variable than expected.

The two largest fires, to the south of Corryong and the Bogong fire, are nowclose to merging.

Difficult fire behaviour was experienced across the southern sections of thethree Alpine fires yesterday, particularly to the south of Mt Buffalo.

A new fire which started at Tawonga South has now been contained at around 60ha.

Two fires near Beechworth that started on Tuesday afternoon have burnt acombined area of about 14 000 hectares including significant areas of privateproperty. For details of these fires please call CFA media on (03) 9262 8228.

The current North-East fires have now burnt around 335 000 hectares of parks andforests.

With the Australia Day long-weekend and high fire risk, people are advised notto visit parks or forests in the North East of the State. If you are planning tovisit an alternative park please call 13 19 63.

CURRENT GOING FIRES

The ‘Pinnabar’ complex of fires (south of Corryong) has now burnt over 60, 000ha of Victorian park and forest. A somewhat larger adjacent area has been burnton the NSW side of the border in the Kosciuszko National Park. In the north,asset protection works continued overnight. Some spotting to the south isplanned to be dealt with today.

The Bogong Complex of fires (Mt Feathertop, Bogong and Razorback). These haveburnt nearly 230, 000 hectares of park and forest. The north east section isanticipated to join the Pinnabar fire in the next few days. Dozer works continuein and around the Harrietville township. Spot fires around Mt Hotham and DinnerPlain continue to cause difficulties. More work is planned this morning. Firehas moved S and SW towards Benambra and is approaching private property wherecontrol measures will be undertaken.

The fire in the Mt Buffalo National Park has burnt in excess of 26, 000 ha andongoing patrols around the Chalet and Tatra Inn continued last night.Backburning and other work continued on the northern, western and eastern partof the fire during the night. The Army yesterday assisted in the constructionand consolidation of control lines around Bright. Fanned by northerly winds, theBuffalo fire moved several kilometres southwards overnight. Difficult terrain isnot assisting control efforts in this southern sector.

WEATHER IN THE NORTH-EAST

Today: Hot (mid 30s) with moderate to fresh north to northwesterly wind(variable to 15kph at lower altitudes, NW to 35 kph at higher altitudes) aheadof a milder southwesterly change late in the day or at night.
Monday: Generally milder with gusty S/SW winds.
Tuesday: Warmer. Winds easing.

RESOURCES ON THE ALPINE FIRES

Around 1700 personnel from the Government agencies, around 1,600 CFA personnelfrom outside the Region (supporting local volunteer brigades), 114 Armypersonnel, 13 New Zealand alpine fire specialists, 2 personnel from both NSWRural Fire Service and the QLD Rural Fire Service, 1 NSW State Forests, 1 USA,25 aircraft, over 200 specialised vehicles and 83 bulldozers.

Major strategies and tactics continue to be reviewed. Aircraft-mounted infra-redmapping flights again overnight continue to provide major assistance to firecontrollers.

AGENCIES INVOLVED

The Department of Sustainability and Environment, Department of PrimaryIndustries, Parks Victoria, the Country Fire Authority, local plantation companybrigades, forest industry crews and equipment, Victoria Police, Red Cross, StJohn’s Ambulance, the Army Reserve, State Emergency Service, localmunicipalities, New Zealand fire and conservation agencies, NSW Rural FireService, QLD Rural Fire Service and NSW State Forests.

THREATS TO PRIVATE PROPERTY AND ROAD CLOSURES

See descriptions of individual fires for details on threats to private property.

For information regarding public road closures and threats to private property,please call the Victoria Police Emergency Information Line on 1 800 444 343.

For information on significant fires on private land in rural Victoria. Pleasecall the CFA on 13 15 99.

For information regarding fires in the Gippsland region, please phone theTraralgon Information Line on 1800 668 066.

Alpine Shires are maintaining community information phone lines.

COMMUNITY INFORMATION

During the last week, a number of community meetings have been held. More than3,000 people have now attended these. In the last 24 hours meetings have beenheld at Tallangatta, Corryong, Nowa Nowa and Gelantipy (and at Angelsea and atLorne in the Otways). The meetings are designed to assist local residents andvisitors to the area with the current fire situation, and to put in placeon-going community networks. Further community meetings will occur as necessary.

Liaison between local shires/DSE/DPI/CFA/PV and Victoria Police continue on aregular basis, as does liaison with NSW fire agencies.
Local Community Updates continue to be circulated on a daily basis.

The DSE website (www.nre.vic.gov.au)is being regularly updated with fire information, including communitynewsletters.

FIRE STATISTICS

Victoria has around 7.7 million hectares of parks and forests. In an averagesummer around 620 wildfires occur and these burn around 110, 000 hectares. Todate this season 657 fires have occurred. These have burnt around 568 000hectares. The 20-year average for this time of year is 335 fires, having burntaround 42 000 hectares.
The recent lightning caused fires in Victoria’s east and north-east regionswhich have now burnt around 345 000 hectares of parks and forests.

Bogong Fires Update 26 Jan 2003 7am

A joint Media Release from CFA and DSE
26/01/2003

BOGONG WEST CREWS PREPARE FOR DIFFICULTWEATHER

Fire crews continue to consolidate control lines and prepare for expected hotand dry conditions across the Bogong West Fire, with northerly winds and apredicted south westerly change late today.

Crews spent the night burning out along control lines and patrolling the firefront at Mitta Mitta, Dartmouth, Harrietville and along the Ovens Valley.

Burning out operations have been slow and difficult and crews are working hardto consolidate lines before temperatures rise, humidity drops and winds increaselate this afternoon.

Asset protection around townships including Harrietville, Tawonga South andBogong Village will be a priority today.

A fire that started yesterday off the Tawonga Gap Road remains contained withcrews burning out sections to control lines overnight.

Burning out between Crankey Charlie above Clover Dam has been completed. Crewscontinue to patrol that area north of Bogong Village.

All residents adjacent to the Bogong Fire complex will need to remain on highalert as the weather changes today and continue to implement their bushfiresafety plans.

Update for Fires in the North East 26th Jan 11am

A general update on the fires in the North East.
26/01/2003

Buffalo Fires:
This fire is not yet under control and is now over 25,700 hectares.

Bright:
Fire in the Buckland Valley (south of Bright) is threatening a number ofresidences in the Buckland area. Police have been actively briefing residents inthe valley regarding the fire potential on Sunday.

Bogong:
This fire is not yet under control and now covers 145,000 hectares. This firecovers the Mt. Feathertop and Bogong districts.

Mt Beauty:
Fire has slowly moved towards the town and is currently adjacent to the GolfCourse, which abuts the town. CFA Strike Teams are in attendance and are onstandby if the fire becomes active.

Pinnabar: 
This fire is not yet under control and covers 54,500 hectares.

Beechworth Current situation:

Eldorado
Not yet under control and 8,500 hectares.

Stanley Fires
Not yet under control and 5,260 hectares. This fire is causing the most concernas it impacts on the outskirts of the Beechworth township. Containment lineshave been established around the Eldorado and Stanley fires. Fire crews willcontinue to enhance lines this morning. Today’s north westerly winds will causeconcern if a breakaway occurs. The fires will then move towards Beechworth andMyrtleford.

Total losses in this area are as follows:
1 house at Stanley, 1 house at Yackandandah, 2 houses at Indigo Valley.

Report on Warby Ranges Fire – 26th Jan 10:30am

This fire is not active – short update available…
26/01/2003

On the evening of the 25th Jan a small spot fire on the side ofthe road was attended and contained.

This fire was in the same area as another previous fire and appears suspicious.Police are investigating.

The area is being patrolled to ensure safety.

Extreme Fire Weather Warning 26th Jan 2003

Issued by the Bureau of Meteorology at 9am
26/01/2003

Fire Danger is expected to be extreme on Sunday 26th January inthe Mallee, Northern Country, North Central, Northeast, Alpine and gippslanddistricts.

CFA advise all people living in these areas to activate their bushfire plan.

New Fire Information Line for Gippsland Residents

A joint Media Release from CFA and DSE
25/01/2003

A new Gippsland Community Fire Information Unit has beenestablished at the Traralgon Department of Primary Industries office for theGippsland region. This unit is jointly managed by CFA and DPI staff and thepolice. A community advice line has been set up here for anyone affected by thefires to obtain information relevant to their situation.

PhoneHotlines
Victoria Police (road closures) 1800 444 343
Parks Victoria 13 19 63
CFA 13 15 99

Websites

Department of Sustainability and Environment

Community Updates
on the DS&E website are alsoavailable

Actual Fire Situation Maps,Victoria
An actual fire situation map can be found directly at:
http://www.nre.vic.gov.au/fires/updates/report/index.htm 

Source: http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/

TASMANIA:

TASMANIAN FIRES CONTAINED
Sunday, 26 January 2003   9:46 PM AEDT

The Tasmania Fire Service says most of the fires in the state are eithercontained or soon will be. The service is praising the efforts of residents, whohave helped defend their homes from fire. However, there is concern some peopleare still not prepared despite the warnings. After predictions of a horror dayyesterday, a cool, moist change in the weather has made things a little easier.Ten major fires continue to burn but the fire service says the better conditionshave helped containment efforts. No homes have been lost, and firefighters arepraising residents for clearing their homes of fire hazards. But chief fireofficer John Gledhill says there is a minority of homeowners in high risk areas,who are not following fire safety advice. “Those are the places that causeus grief when we have a fire approach and that’s where we’ve got to put all theresources,” Mr Gledhill said. “I guess it’s ironic that the people whohaven’t helped us are the ones that we’ve got to help the most.” MrGledhill says home and property owners need to remain vigilant. 

Source: ABC news

STATEWIDE SITUATION REPORT
07:20:08 PM 26 January, 2003

The moderating weather conditions will allow crews to secure fires withincurrent boundaries. Crews on all fires are continuing their efforts to controlgoing fires and are patrolling fires that are already contained. Back burningand blackening out will continue to generate significant amounts of smoke.

CURRENT ROAD CLOSURES:
08:34:37 PM 26 January, 2003

There are no roads currently closed due to fire fighting operations

 

BROADMARSH/BRIGHTON FIRES – SITUATION UPDATE
07:45:46 PM 26 January, 2003

The Tasmania Fire Service have commenced backburning 1600 Hours – (Westernside of the Broadmarsh fire) Tanina Bluff and BedChambers Hill and Davis Hillareas. There will be a considerable amount of smoke in the area.

Back burning areas: 

Tanina Bluff

Between Storey Road and Church Road

Houses south of Cranes Road

Consolidation of control lines occurred overnight. Cooler conditions andsoutherly winds will make this morning ideal for proactive fire fightingoperations. Back burning and aerial incendiary bombing should enable designatedareas to be burnt. Fire has so far burnt 11,500 hectares.

 

STORMLEA RD, STORMLEA – SITUATION REPORT
06:52:12 PM 26 January, 2003

Patrolling and monitoring of the area continues on a regular basis. There hasbeen no new fire activity reported today.

 

SAWPIT HILL ROAD, BLESSINGTON – SITUATION REPORT

06:44:26 PM 26 January, 2003

The fire continues to smoulder. Patrols are continuing in thearea. There is no new reports of fire activity.

 

DARLING RANGES, FLINDERS ISLAND – SITUATION UPDATE
06:37:04 PM 26 January, 2003

Cooler temperatures and favourable weather conditions haveallowed fire crews to keep the fire within constructed fire breaks and coolexisting hot spots. Fire activity was minimal with flare ups in only localisedareas. The fire is being contained within the constructed boundaries and posesno threat at this time. With favourable weather conditions continuing tomorrow,mopping up operations with the outlook to scale down by Tuesday, howevermonitoring will continue throughout the week

 

TWELVETREES RANGE (STRATHGORDON) – SITUATION REPORT
06:15:44 PM 26 January, 2003

The spread of the fire has been stopped. Over the next twodays, favourable weather conditions will allow crews to contain most of thedifficult areas of the fire. The fire is posing no threat to property owners.The Gordon river road to Strathgordon is now open, but motorists are requestedto take extreme care, as Fire fighting appliances and crews are working in thearea. Appromiately 2000 Hectares have been burnt so far.

 

HYLANDS RD, MURDUNNA – SITUATION REPORT
05:34:48 PM 26 January, 2003

The fire whilst not contained has not increased significantly.The Southern boundary of the fire is secure and continues to be patrolled byParks & Wildlife and Forestry Tasmania crews. The eastern boundary iscurrently not posing any problems.The northern boundary is not posing a threatto property owners. Aerial reconnaissance continues to map the extent and spreadof this edge of the fire. The western boundary of the fire is currentlycontrolled within Hylands road and fire crews are continously monitoring thesituation. Appromiately 650 hectares has been burnt sofar.

 

BEN LOMOND MARSHES – SITUATION REPORT
05:12:39 PM 26 January, 2003

Since mid morning heavy rain has been falling and FireFighting crews have left the fire as is now safe. Approximately 134 hectareshave been burnt.

 

SADDLEBACK PLANTATION, MATHINNA – SITUATION UPDATE
05:10:23 PM 26 January, 2003

The fire is not contained but is still burning slowly on theedges. The south-west flank of the fire at Cokers Road is contained. Hand crewsare currently working on the Eastern and Northern flanks of the fire and expectto contain those boundaries by tomorrow evening.

Thefire front is still 10 km west of Mathinna and there is no immediate threat toproperty or assets. Approximately 610 hectares have been burnt, includingapproximately 5 hectares of Pine plantation. Rain iscurrently falling assisting fire fighters to control the fire.

 

WHITES FLAT, INTERLAKEN – SITUATION REPORT
05:01:30 PM 26 January, 2003

The fire has not moved significantly today. The fire haspassed through the shack area and no shacks have been lost. The Tasmania FireService are still encouraging shack owners to attend their shacks to assistbrigades with patrol and mopping up operations. The firehas burnt approximately 1400 hectares.

 

UXBRIDGE RD, UXBRIDGE –SITUATION REPORT 
04:54:59 PM 26 January, 2003

The fire is now contained. Fire crews and resources arescaling down. Patrols will continue to extinguish stags into at least mid nextweek. The fire has burnt 2090 hectares.

 

GEES ROAD, CAVESIDE – SITUATION UPDATE
10:15:11 AM 26 January, 2003

There was a flare up of fire yesterday in a large bark dumphowever it was within containment lines. Brigade pulled the heap apart andextinguished the fire. Crews will continue to patrol regularly.


Source:
Tasmania Fire Service (TFS)

QUEENSLAND

Overview:
Saturday, 25 January 2003. Posted 12:09 AM AEDT

One hundred firefighters are fighting blazes south of Bundaberg in southernQueensland, as strong winds force two fires across containment lines. Eighteenfire units and 30 firefighters, who were controlling the situation yesterday,have now been joined by units from throughout the Wide Bay area, backed up bypolice and State Emergency Service (SES) volunteers. Fire incident controllerBrian Dale says a new fire to the south of the small community of Goodwood willdouble the demand on firefighters. “It’s not contained at this point and infact we’re still establishing resources here,” Mr Dale said. “Afterthe crew get back from the flying of that fire we’ll have a better understandingof where that fire is and what action needs to be taken on it.” 

Source:  ABC news

GFMC Note
With letters directed to the A.C.T. Bushfire Service and the CFA Victoria on 26January 2003 the GFMC has offered liaison with Russia for the deployment ofIL-76 air tankers to assist the Australian authorities in fire suppression.

Currentweather situation, forecasts, fireweather http://www.bom.gov.au/weather/tas/ Actual fire Situation Tasmania Actual Fire Situation Maps, Tasmania More Information on Australian Fires IFFN country notes Further Information Australian and New Zealand links. Background information Recent Media Highlights on Fire, Policies, and Politics

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