Lightning sparks new fires in Victoria

Lightning sparks new fires in Victoria

1 January 2007

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Australia — Lightning around Victoria has sparked 30 new fires and about half are yet to be contained, fire authorities said.

Department of Sustainability and Environment state duty officer Peter Billing said most of the fires were small and in remote areas of Gippsland, the north-east and far western parts of Victoria.

“On the last day of the year we’ve had 30 fires, new ones, from lightning,” he said.

“We’ve had some assistance with the rainfall with these thunderstorms and, in part, that’s helped us, but we’ve still got a lot of fires we have to work on tomorrow.”

The latest fires have blacked out 7,500 hectares, in addition to the more than 873,000 hectares already burnt out by Victoria’s bush fires.

Billing said conditions were mild overnight but crews needed to work fast ahead of the forecast for increased fire danger later in the week.

No urgent threat messages were issued for bush fire-affected communities.

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