Latest satellite images:BushfiresRaging in Southeast Australia
Fragmentsof the BIRD 3.8µm channel image showing the Canberra region on 28 January 2003 Source: German Aerospace Center. BIRD website: http://spacesensors.dlr.de/SE/bird/index.html
Firefighters in southeast Australia got a small break over theweekend of 25 January 2003, as cool, damp weather gave an opportunity forfire control lines to be established around many threatened communities.Conditions are expected to become dangerous by mid-week, with temperatures over100 degrees Fahrenheit and gusty winds. So far the blazes in Victoria and NewSouth Wales have scorched more than 1 million acres. This true-color ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from the Aquasatellite on January 28, 2003, shows the fires marked in red.
Heat signatures (red), burn scars(charcoal), and thick smoke (light blue haze) are visible from fires burning out ofcontrol in southeastern Australia in this ModerateResolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) image from 28 January 2003, captured by theAqua satellite.
Night-timeimage from ATSR-2 instrument (3.7 micron channel) onboard ESA ERS-2 satellite showing the vegetation fire situation in South Eastern Australia (N.S.W., A.C.T. and Victoria) on 21 January 2003. Saturated pixels (312K) are shown in red and correspond to the high-temperature events as usually recorded by the ATSR-2 fire atlas (algorithm 1). The fire fronts are clearly visible on that image. Source: ESA, courtesy M.Simon and O. Arino. ATSR-2 World Fire Atlas website: http://shark1.esrin.esa.it/ionia/FIRE/
CSARADARSAT-1 Disaster Watch Thefollowing requests were acquired under the MCS Disaster Watch:
NewSouth Wales – Victoria, Bushfires, Australia (2 images):
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
Fire Weather Index for the Pacific Region for tomorrow. (Source: ECPCFire Weather Index Forecast)
ACT are under threat, with several fires breaking containment lines
NSW: Bushfire itensified and breaking containmet lines
NSW: Fire Threatened Jindabyne Homes
Victoria: Strong winds push fires closer to ski resorts
Victoria: Omeo loses four homes before rain eases crisis
Queensland: Firefighters leave forVictoria this afternoon
ACT under threat Thu, Jan 30 2003 7:08 PM AEDT Settlements around the ACT are under threat, with severalfires breaking containment lines. Residents of Wee Jasper and Michelago havebeen put on alert. To the north-east of Canberra, at least two fire fronts arenear Wee Jasper. Residents have been asked to evacuate or stay and defend theirhomes. One property south-east of Black Andrew Range is facing an immediate firethreat. Roads in the area have been closed as the fires intensify. To the southof the ACT the Monaro Highway has been closed between Tuggeranong and Coomaafter a fire jumped the Murrimbidgee River. The Rural Fire Service says theblaze is in grassland and with strong winds it is expected to pass just north ofthe town of Michelago. Water bombers and firefighters are at work.
NSW Bushfire itensified and breaking containmet lines 30 January 2003, 08:34 GMT
The bushfire emergency across New South Wales has intensifiedwith a number of fires in the south of the state breaking containmentlines. John Winter from the Rural Fire Service says firefighters are bracingthemselves for severe fire conditions, with searing temperatures and stronggusty winds. Mr Winter says the likelihood of homes being threatened by firethis afternoon is very high, and firefighters will struggle if new fires breakout. “We’re already beginning to see very difficult conditions developingacross the southern part of New South Wales, very high winds in excess of 50kilometres an hour fanning the fires which have been burning in the line betweenthe lower end of Yass right through the way of the Victorian border,” hesaid. “Fires in the area around Jindabyne and south of Thredbo have brokencontainment lines and are beginning to move quite dramatically.” In theYass region, one property may be under threat with a fire just south-east of WeeJasper spotting over. There are also reports of spot fires to the east of BlackAndrews Recreation Park. There are about 200 firefighters in the region butstrong winds are reducing visibility and causing helicopters trouble.
Fire Threatened Jindabyne Homes 30 January 2003, 08:34 GMT
Homes and properties around Jindabyne are now threatened byfire, which is being fanned by gale force winds and hot, drytemperatures. Fire authorities have advised property owners along Barry Way,Avenside Road, Gullies Road, Waste Point, Big Yard Road, the Alpine Way,Westerns Road, Wallandibby Road, Pendalee, East Jindabyne, Kalkite, Injebyra andPoppong to leave their properties now if they are uncertain about staying andfighting the fire. The Jindabyne township is safe from the fires at the moment.Anyone needing somewhere to stay can go to the Jindabyne Memorial Hall. Studentsand staff of the Snowy Mountans Grammar School have been evacuated to the hall.
The Commissioner of the NSWRural Fire Service has declared a Total Fire Ban in the following WeatherForecast Districts:
North West Plains, Central Western Plains, Central West Slopes, Southern Tablelands
The weather forecast for these areas is very high temperature, low humidity andmoderate to strong winds. These conditions are conducive to fire activity andthe community is urged to take particular care. Fire danger in this area will beextreme or approaching extreme. The Total Fire Ban will become effective for the 24 hours from MIDNIGHT TONIGHT,Thursday, January 30, 2003 until MIDNIGHT Friday, 31 January 2002. 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 654443 or their local NSW Rural Fire Service Fire Control Centre for moreinformation
For moreinformation (Please note this is for MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY):Media Only (02) 98981855
Statewide Fire Update for 30 January 2003
More than 2000 firefighting personnel are combatting extreme bushfire weather conditions which are threatening containment lines and are impacting upon property in some areas of the state. Weather earlier this week offered temporary respite with fire activity generally moderate. This respite was used to conduct backburning, trail clearing and property protection measures across firegrounds in NSW. Particular attention is being paid to fires in southeastern NSW in the Kosciuszko National Park and the Yarrowlumla complex. Over 500,000ha has been consumed by these fires since January 8 when they started by lightning strike. Many of these fires remain uncontained and some are running heavily under forecasted conditions. Total Fire Bans have been declared for the entire state.
Yarrowlumla Complex The fireground spreads over 248, 404ha from northeast of Wee Jasper in the north to Michelago 75 km south and includes areas of the ACT and NSW. The fire is burning in the Brindabella National Park in the north, Kosciuszko National Park in the southwest and Namadgi National Park in the centre and south. Over 400 personnel are working on the fire in the Yarrowlumla, Queanbeyan, Yass and Cooma Rural Fire Districts, with out-of-area crews from around NSW continuing to assist local brigades.
South Eastern Division: The fire has crossed the Murrumbidgee River but remains west of the Cooma Monaro Highway. Crews are working on property protection in this area.
Western Division: Patrol and monitor containment line along Brindabella Rd in Brindabella Valley west of the Goodradigbee River and provide property protection measures.
South (Cooma): Containment lines east of Old Boboyan Rd through to the Murrumbidgee sector continue to be patrolled and the depth of blacking out increased. Mop up and patrol continued in the Sams Creek backburn in the Yaouk Valley. Aerial incendiary was put in the north east of the Yaouk valley to tie in the back burn with the firefront
Northern Division: Crews tasked by Yarrowlumla (includes out of area firefighters) are consolidating fallback lines to the west and east of the Murrumbidgee River within both Yass and Yarrowlumla areas.
Yass section of Yarrowlumla Complex: Yass is controlling the Doctors Flat, Follies, Fairlight and Sawyers Gully sectors and the northern division of the Yarrowlumla Complex.
Childowla: The fire has burned 14,270ha around Lake Burrinjuck and moved across the dam wall under adverse weather conditions into Black Andrew Recreation Area. The fire is burning in a southerly direction, it has crossed the Goodradigbee River and is currently threatening properties in the Wee Jasper area. Residents at Wee Jasper have been put on high alert and the children at the local primary school have been sent home.
Kosciuszko National Park The fires are running under strong northwesterly winds this afterrnoon. Residents have been put on hig alert in many area of the park and some have been advised to self evacuate as the fire impacts upon properties at Ingebyrah, the Alpine Way, Barry Way and East Jindabyne. Due to an escalation of the current fire threat, residents in the following areas who wish to evacuate are advised to evacuate immediately to the Jindabyne Memorial Hall:
· Barry Way · Avonside Road · Gullies Road · Waste Point · Big yard Road · Alpine way · Westons Road · Wollondibby Road (wol-on-dibby) · Penderlea · Ingebyra (inj-eb-ire-ra)
Unconfirmed property loss has been recorded at Thredbo Valley, Wilsons Valley, East Jindabyne and at one of the resorts north of Jindabyne. Property protection is the priority today.
North Kosciuszko Fire Complex Containment lines yesterday were strengthened in the Yaouk Valley from Tantangara to Eucumbene and the Tantagara- Murrumbidgee fire trails.
South Kosciuszko Fire Complex Yesterday the fires were burning in steep terrain and strong winds caused spot overs into Little Thredbo, Round Mountain, Grosse and Guthega areas. The fire has also run into Gullies Rd, crossed the Tin Mine Fire Trail and into the Tom Groggin area. Crews are focussed on property protection today at Ingebyrah and properties along the Alpine Way as the fire moves towards Jindabyne.
Kyogle The Queensland Ridge fire continues to burn in the Border Ranges National Park, a World Heritage Listed area that includes rainforest. The fire is slowly burning toward private property and property protection will be carried out when required. The 750ha Bungdoozle fire in the Richmond Range is contained.
Woy Woy A fire is burning south of Nagari Rd Woy Woy South and heading towards the Woy Woy Waste Disposal Depot. The scrub fire has the potential to impact on property at Umina Heights and residents have been alerted to take the normal precautions. Property protection is being carried out in Citadel, Santuary, Castle, Bastion and Glenn haven Streets in preparation for potential impact in the next couple of hours. A property proetction burn has been put in place between Shoalhaven Drive and Vernon Road. The fire has moved into the Brisbane Water National Park. Five RFS and four NSW Fire Brigades tankers are on scene and more resources are being organised.
Casula/ Liverpool An Erickson Aricrane has been deployed to a fire that started this afternoon behind the Liverpool showground. The fire is no longer impacting upong Beech Avenue Casula, Maple Rd, Ash Rd, M5 Motorway, Camden Valley Way (closed), Hume Highway at the Crossroads. Crews are focussing property protection. One house and a caravan are reported to have been impacted upon in Wattle Street, Casula. Seventy firefighters are working on the blaze with eight 27 tankers.
Blue Mountains A fire has started 1km west of the Explorers Tree, Katoomba this afternoon. Surrounding bush has caught alight and has caused the closure of the Great Western Highway on both sides and also the closure of the railway.. The fire is spotting into North Katoomba and property is being protected in Letita, West, Witten, North and Mort Streets. There is no confirmed property loss, however impact is expected in Explorers Road.
For more information (Please note thisis for MEDIA INQUIRIES ONLY): DutyMedia Officer 02 9898 1855
Strong winds push fires closer to Vic ski resorts Thursday, 30 January 2003. Posted: 12:14:40 (AEDT)
Firefightersare working furiously to protect chalets at the Mt Hotham Ski Resort inVictoria. Winds of up to 90 kilometres an hour have been pushing the fire up agully about 200 metres from the Davenport area of the village. Mt HothamManagement Board’s Geoff Provis says the northerly winds have helped holdthe fire at bay. But he says a south-westerly wind change will push the fire upa ridge directly towards chalets. “We haven’t been able to backburn alongthere at all so we’re still very exposed on that southern flank down by theDavenport,” he said. “The Davenport village is the lower part of MtHotham village, which contains probably 30 clubs so it’s a very important partof Mt Hotham.”
Omeo loses four homes before rain eases crisis Posted: Thu, 30 January 2003 18:19 AEDT
Four homes have been destroyed and a police stationdamaged by the Omeo fires in the Victorian Alps. Residents have been cleaning upafter fires swept through the town. Spits of rall have fallen, accompanied by adrop in temperature. Hundreds of hectares of pasture have been blackened andfences destroyed. Milk tankers have ferried water to fire crews to helpextinguish remaining fires. In town, people have been surveying their propertiesfor damage.
Latest Fire Maps 30th Jan 9am North East Fires Maps The following maps are updated up to twice daily: Overview Map- (jpeg approx 200kb) Closerview of North East Fires – (jpeg approx 200kb) Hiresolution PDF file of Fires (can zoom in on this map) – LargeDownload* (pdf size from 2 to 3Mb)
Further Information: CSIRO also provide online mappingof the fires situation at http://www.sentinel.csiro.au Note – this map is hosted on the Land Victoria website
Omeo Fire Update 30th Jan 5.45pm It has been confirmed that 4 houses have been lost in the Omeo area.The Police Station is currently on fire. The has been no reported injuries. As of 12:20hrs there has 2,800 sheep and 850cattle lost.
Bogong Fires Update 30th Jan 5pm Swifts Creek is under severe Ember attack. A Community Alert forSwifts Creek has been issued for people to activate their Bushfire Plans.
Omeo Two Bulldozers at the gap south of Omeo have been involved in a burn over, oneperson has been taken to hospital. The fire is in the township of Omeo. Reliablereport suggests one house on fire. The majority of the population are eitherprotecting assets or sheltering at the football ground refuge that is alsofairly well surrounded by fire.
Mitta Mitta, Nariel and Tallangatta Mitta Mitta, Nariel and Tallangatta are under threat from spot fires as a resultof severe fire activity in the area.
Bogong West Fires Update 30th Jan 3pm Crews battle outbreaks across the Bogong West Complex. Spot fires havebroken control lines at a number of points in the Bogong West fire complex thisafternoon – driven by high winds. Mitta Mitta township is under threat from firefrom several sides , currently within one kilometre of the town. All crews inthe Mitta Valley and machinery have been pulled back to defend the town. TheErickson Skycrane and another medium-sized bombing helicopter have been workingover fire. The DSE and CFA have issued a community alert for communities in theMitta Mitta valley early this afternoon. A significant spot fire has also jumpedcontrol lines between Simmonds Track and Pyramid Track 2 – 3 kilometres south ofMount Beauty. Air attack is being employed to extinguish this new blaze withbulldozer crews reinforcing existing control lines in the area. Another outbreakhas occurred in the upper Snowy Creek north of Trappers Gap. Northwesterly windsof up to 105kph at Mt Hotham have been recorded today. The cool change is slowlypushing across the alpine area and winds are expected to swing west to thesouthwest shortly. Crews are continuing to monitor fires inching slowly downwestern slopes at Harrietville with CFA strike teams on hand to protect assetsand property in the township should conditions worsen. Fire controllers areurging all communities in the affected areas to remain alert to embers and spotfires that may continue through the afternoon.
Omeo Fires Update 30 Jan 3:30pm Fires have reached the township of Omeo, with reliable reportssuggesting one house on fire. With the town covered in thick smoke, and winds upto 80kmh reported around the area, fires have reached the township of Omeo.Currently the majority of residents are either protecting assets or shelteringat the football ground refuge that is also fairly well surrounded by fire.Reliable reports suggest one house lost with a further two houses under threathowever CFA has 8 trucks and 40 firefighters attempting to contain the fire andprotect the homes. There are an increasing number of spot fires breaking outaround the outskirts of Omeo, with embers starting a spot fire on the SwiftsCreek side of the town. Some residents are choosing to go to the Omeo FireRefuge, which is at the local football ground. CFA is maintaining a large forceof firefighters and trucks in and around the town of Omeo to contain the fireand for asset protection.
Gippsland Fire Update 30 Jan 3:00pm The north east section of the Bogong Complex fire has joined thePinnabar fire. The fire now stretches from about 10kms south west of Hotham tothe NSW border, covering more than 370000 hectares. New joint IncidentManagement Teams are being established at Orbost and Bairnsdale by DSE/DPI andCFA staff. These will ensure more focused management of the fire as it movesfurther into Gippsland. The fire is expected to move south today, driven by thepredicted northerly winds. Many high country communities could be affected, fromHotham through to Gelantipy and south to Dargo and Buchan. Residents must beprepared to enact their bushfire plans and stay alert for falling embers andresulting spotfires.
Community meetings Community meetings will be held at the following places over the coming week:
Thursday January 30: Flaggy Creek Hall, 7.00pm Thursday January 30: Lindenow Hall, 7.00pm Thursday 30 January: Goongerah Hall, 11.00am Thursday 30 January: Orbost Football Ground, 4.00pm Thursday 30 January: Nungurner Hall, 7.00pm Friday 31 January: Old School, Club Terrace, 10.00am Friday 31 January: Newmerella Recreation Reserve, 7.00pm
School closures Primary schools at Bruthen, Buchan, Dargo, Goongerah, Omeo, Tubbut, CliftonCreek, Swifts Creek and Swifts Creek Secondary College.
Refuge Area locations: For residents in the Omeo and Benambra areas, the Omeo Oval is your designatedrefuge area. For residents in the Swifts Creek and Cassilis area, the SwiftsCreek Secondary College is your designated refuge area and for Ensay residents,the Ensay Hall or Bruthen Hall if preferred. For Buchan residents, the BuchanRecreation Reserve is your designated refuge area. Other Emergency Refuge Centres are: Tubbut Hall, Bonang Hall, Delegate RiverTavern, Karoondah Park, Gelantipy. If you leave your home or town you are requested to inform the Australian RedCross staff at your local refuge area, who are keeping track of all movementsduring the fires for safety reasons If you have already registered but you then change your plans it is important toinform the Red Cross. Also, if you leave your vehicle at a staging area theyshould be informed.
Animals and livestock: If people are going to move livestock, they need to do it well before the fireapproaches while the road access is ok. Trying to move your stock after theevent will be difficult as the roads could be unsafe. Residents are urged to call the Gippsland Community Fire Information line on1800 668 066 to report stock losses and to get help with the care or humanedestruction of injured stock. DPI Vets and Animal Health Officers are availableto assist with these tasks. DPI and East Gippsland Shire are coordinating burial pits for affectedlandholders. This is a free service, please call 1800 668 066 for assistance.
Road Closures: The Great Alpine Road north of Bruthen is closed to all vehicles exceptemergency vehicles and local traffic. Omeo Highway between Omeo and Mitta Mitta Great Alpine Road north of Omeo Benambra-Corryong road, between Omeo and Corryong Benambra Road between Uplands and Colac Colac Benambra-Suggan Buggan Road (Limestone-Black Mountain Road) Bogong High Plains Road between Falls Creek and Omeo Highway. Dargo High Plains Road between Dargo & Mt Hotham Gelantipy Road, north of Buchan Snowy River Road McKillops Tourist Road Cabandra Road Dellicknora Road Benambra-Limestone Road Dargo Road from Beverley’s Road Lower Dargo Road No public access to Bogong High Plains, Bogong Village, Mount Hotham Village andFalls Creek
Tambo Valley Communities bracing for fire 30 Jan 2003 08:30am After more than a fortnight of fires burning in alpine regions,communities along the Tambo Valley will be tested today by gusty northerliesdriving the Bogong fire in their direction. From Bindi, through Tongio, SwiftsCreek and Cassilis to Ensay, landholders have been grading breaks in theirpaddocks, cleaning up yards and checking water pumps and pipes. Overnight, crewsmaintained containment lines around the Splitters fire east of Omeo, and belowMt Sam. A CFA Strike Team patrolled at Mt Hotham, and spot overs occurred nearDinner Plain Track and at the junction of Nunniong and Limestone Roads, east ofBenambra. Weather forecasts predict northwesterly winds gusting to 50km/h, aheadof a southerly change due before nightfall, bringing the possibility of somerain. However fire conditions are still expected to be extreme throughout muchof the day, so there will be no let up in the efforts of firefighters and localpeople to prevent the fires spreading further. Firefighter safety will be ofparamount importance throughout today. Meanwhile, landholders are beingreminded that if they are likely to require stock to be moved out offire-affected areas they should arrange to do so well before the fire arrives.The longer you leave it, the more difficult and dangerous this task couldbecome.
Alpine Communities Remain on High Alert 30 Jan6:00am CFA has declared a Total Fire Ban for the Gippsland and North East Fire Banareas
CURRENT SUMMARY Today’s weather in the Alpine Region is expected to severely test firefightingefforts. Fire danger will be extreme in the North East district. A wind warningfor elevated land areas has been issued and fire behaviour is predicted to beextreme and at times erratic. Since 3am this morning northerly wind speeds inthe higher areas have increased from 20kph to around 90kph. Yesterday a delegation of 21 firefighters from the United States arrived inMelbourne to assist with firefighting efforts in Victoria. These high countryand forest fire specialists are from the five major federal land managementagencies in the USA. This is the first strike team of its type to fight fires inAustralia. Today they will remain in Melbourne for familiarisation training onVictorian vegetation, fire behaviour and an update on the current firesituation. They will then join 33 New Zealand firefighters who have beenassisting for several days, together with 428 Interstate and 120 Army personnel.To date, the Alpine fires have now burnt more than 465,000 hectares of parks andforests.
CURRENT GOING FIRES Due to their merging earlier this week, the Bogong and Pinnibar fires are nowbeing treated as one fire complex which stretches from the NSW border, over 90kmto Harrietville. These fires have now burnt nearly 400,000 hectares of park andforest. The fire in the Mt Buffalo National Park has burnt in excess of 35,000 hectares. Areas of particular concern include the Tallangatta Valley, Mitta Mitta, NarielValley, Eskdale, Wandiligong, Harrietville, Bright and surrounding areas as wellas the Mt Hotham region, Omeo and Benambra, although all communities areencouraged to stay alert. Yesterday and during the night fire crews focussed onasset protection works, containing spot overs and preparing for today’s extremeweather.
COMMUNITY INFORMATION During the last three weeks, a number of community meetings have been held. Morethan 4,000 people have now attended these. Community meetings are scheduled for today in: Goongerah (Goongerah Hall) at 11:00am Nungurner (Nungurner Hall) at 7:00pm Orbost (Orbost Football Ground)at 4:00pm Meetings are scheduled for Friday in Club Terrace (Old School) at 10am. Themeetings are designed to assist local residents and visitors to the area withthe current fire situation, and to put in place on-going community networks. Further community meetings will occur as necessary and will be advised locally. Liaison between local shires/DSE/DPI/CFA/PV and Victoria Police continues on aregular basis, as does liaison with NSW fire agencies. Local Community Updates continue to be circulated on a regular basis.
The DSE website is being regularlyupdated with fire information, including community newsletters and maps.
THREATS TO PRIVATE PROPERTY AND ROAD CLOSURES For currently confirmed property losses please call CFA on 13 15 99. See description of individual fires for current threats to private property. Forinformation on significant fires on private land in rural Victoria, please callCFA on 13 15 99 or 1800 240 667. For information regarding public road closures, please call the Victoria PoliceEmergency Information Line on 1800 444 343. For information on Gippsland fires, and on post fire assistance, please call theTraralgon Information Line on 1800 668 066 (6am – midnight). Alpine Shires are maintaining community information phone lines.
Mitta Mitta Fires Update 30 Jan 2:30pm CFA advises residents of Mitta Mitta of severe spotting into thetownship. CFA advises residents of Mitta Mitta of severespotting into the township. The fire is travelling ina south easterly direction. Residents in the area ofMitta Mitta, Narial and Tallangatta may be threatened by this spotting. Advicefor public in the effected areas: Residents in this area should expect smoke and burning embers to reach theirproperty, and are advised to patrol their houses to find and extinguish anyburning embers that may be landing. If the front of the fire approaches, it will become unsafe to be either on footor in a car as the heat radiating from the fire will be intense. Residentsshould avoid being exposed to radiant heat at all costs, and should make use ofstructures like their homes to shelter as the fire front passes. CFA advises road users to remain outside the area effected by the fire.Residents of these areas not currently at home should not at this time try toreturn to the areas as access is limited and the roads may not be safe.
Beechworth Fires Update 30 Jan 01:00pm Information for the local community about the fires in the Beechwortharea and measures being implemented to control them. Also provides up to dateinformation on road closures and safety information.
Today has been declared a day of TOTAL FIRE BAN for the North Eastern andEastern areas of Victoria
FIRE SITUATION The Eldorado Fire, 10,006 ha in area, 68 km perimeter (5km NWof Beechworth) This fire is now classified as ‘under control’. Two small flare-ups occurred inthe SW corner of the fire yesterday afternoon at Kangaroo Track and Old CoachRoad. Smoke was visible in the Beechworth, Eldorado and Everton areas. 25personnel, a fire spotter plane and seven firefighting vehicles ensured the firedid not spot-over. Aerial surveys yesterday revealed several other hot spots along the edge of theEldorado fire. CFA/DSE personnel continue to patrol the fire area today. Flat Rock Road Fire, 5 ha in area, 1 km in perimeter (3 km WBeechworth) This fire is now classified as under control. A number of CFA/DSE firefighterscontinue to patrol the fire today with 1 tanker and 1 slip-on on the watch forpossible flare-ups. The Stanley Fire App 5,260 ha, 57 km perimeter (2km SouthWest of Beechworth) North and South of Stanley Firefighters continue to patrol and black out these fires today, extendingcontainment lines from 30 to 60 metres in depth. They are now classified as’under control’. Patrols continued today with 28 CFA/DSE personnel in fivetankers and one slip-on unit.
Local Road Closures (as at 1.50 pm 29 January) Mt Pilot Access Rd at Beechworth/Chiltern Rd, Little Pilot Track at Deep CreekRd, Watch Box Rd at Indigo Creek Rd, Old Coach Rd at Beechworth/Chiltern Rd Police advise that identification will be required for locals to go throughthese road closure areas. Further information on road closures can be obtained from the Police InformationEmergency Line: 1800 444 343 or 03 9247 3650
Relief centres Relief centres have been set up in the following locations: Memorial Hall, Ford Street, Beechworth Town Hall, High St, Yackandandah Memorial Hall, Conness St, Chiltern
On standby for the Kiewa township: Coulston Park, Kiewa East Rd, Tangambalanga
Mount Buffalo Update 30 Jan 12:30pm A message to the local community about the Mt. Buffalo to Wandiligongfires and the measures being implemented to control these fires.
Status of the Fires: The fire at Mt Buffalo is still going and remains of concern. This fire has nowburnt approximately 57,000ha, and has a perimeter of 264 km. Overnight weather conditions were calmer than anticipated, enabling effectiveclearing and backburning in the Abbeyard and Demon Ridge sectors. Residents in the vicinity of all fires are reminded to remain vigilant for emberattack, especially over the next couple of days.
Areas of particular concern for today The south west wind change is expected by mid afternoon Thursday and this willshift the focus to ensuring protection of the Bright and Porepunkah communities.
Road Closures: People are urged not to drive on any roads in the vicinity of the fires unlessabsolutely necessary. The cross over at the Buffalo Dam Wall is currently under traffic managementcontrol. There is a by-pass track. Public are advised to observe speed limitsand traffic management controls.
The Mt Buffalo Road at Porepunkah Ranger’s Station. The Buckland Valley Road at Porepunkah The Bogong High Plains Road is closed at Mt Beauty and there is no publicaccess to Bogong Village, Falls Creek and the Bogong High Plains. (May beopened by late Thursday). The Omeo Highway between Omeo and Mitta Mitta. The Great Alpine Road between Harrietville and Omeo with no public accessto the Mt Hotham Village. Buffalo River Road south of Merriang South. Dandongadale Road from Dandongadale to Lake Buffalo. Simmonds Creek Road at the end of private property (Open to residentsonly) Tawonga Gap Track, east of Tawonga Gap. Bakers Gully Road from the end of the sealed road. Wandiligong Road south of Wandiligong. Lake Buffalo Road (across the lake) is now closed. An emergency vehicleonly access track to Long Corner Creek Road is available for Fire trafficincluding Tankers and 4WDs. For the latest updates on road closures, contact the Victoria Police InformationLine on 1800 444 343
Rain around Tasmania has dampened fires that are up to three weeks old. Fires atFlinders Island, on the central highlands, in the south-west wilderness and inthe north-east have been contained. Forestry Tasmania and national parks crewsare working to contain a fire on the edge of Hartz National Park. The threatfrom a big fire in the lower midlands north-west of Hobart has easedconsiderably with the rain. Incident controller Paul Salter says crews will notbe needed overnight at the Broadmarsh-Mt Dromedary fire. “There are quite afew hotspots well within the fire boundary. People might see some of the smokecoming up but they are well within the burnt area. “We’ve plotted a fewhotspots that are within the boundary and crews will maintain patrol on thosehotspots.”
The fire is now contained within boundaries. Forestry crewswill patrol the fire backed up by local brigades if required. Estimated size1450Ha
UXBRIDGE – SITUATION UPDATE 11:29:01 AM 30 January, 2003
Crews are currently working to protect property and constructcontainment lines. The previously burnt area is quiet.
WHITES FLAT, LAKE CRESCENT – SITUATION UPDATE 11:27:09 AM 30 January, 2003
Despite difficult conditions fire crews were able to keep thefire within the established control lines. The estimated area remains about 2500Ha and fire crews will be working to control the fire overnight and tomorrow. Nofurther property losses have occurred
The fire is still going but is remaining within thecontainment boundaries. Estimated area is 2000Ha. Parks & Wildlife Servicecrews are patrolling the fire and working to extinguish hot spots in peat soilsand on the forest edges
The fire is still within the established contol lines and thearea is estimated at 12500Ha. Today’s difficult conditions produced severalflare-ups which were quickly controlled using pre-assigned crews. Fire crewswill work to reinforce boundaries and control the fire.
BEN LOMOND MARSHES – SITUATION UPDATE 11:25:12 AM 30 January, 2003
The fire has been controlled. Local land holders arepatrolling the area
A Fire Weather Warning has been issued for southeasternTasmania for Wednesday. Many places will have high temperatures and dry airalthough winds are not expected to be very strong. Fire crews will be patrollingaround recent fires to investigate smoke sightings and prevent escapes. Therewill not be a Total Fire Ban.
Queensland Firefighters leave forVictoria this afternoon Posted: 29 Jan 2003
Two groups of frontline firefighters will leave Brisbane this afternoon as partof the Queensland taskforce heading to Victoria to assist exhausted interstatecolleagues battle fires that are burning across the state. 35 urban and rural firefighters, two communications staff, two radio techniciansand two mechanics will depart Brisbane on Virgin Airlines flight DJ228 at 12pmtoday. A further 14 firefighters will leave on Virgin Airlines flight DJ232 at 1pm. The combined group of 49 taskforce members will then take a charter flight fromMelbourne to East Sale, where Victorias Country Fire Authority (CFA) willtransport them to operational areas. Crews will be farewelled by Acting Fire Commissioner Frank Pagano and Ministerfor Emergency Services, Mike Reynolds. Twelve rural firefighters and an advance forward control party of seven alsoleft Brisbane this morning for Victoria. The firefighters and six members of the advance party will fly into Bairnsdale,the CFA base in the region, where they will be briefed and from there flown intothe town of Sale. One member of the control party will stay in Melbourne to represent Queenslandin the Interstate Liaison Unit. The five urban trucks, five rural trucks and seven support vehicles that wereused in Canberra have been freighted to East Gippsland, and are ready for use onarrival of the Queensland taskforce. For Media: Contact: Sarah McCormack, QFRS Media on 3247 8084 or 0416 167 421
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.