Bushfire threatens Vic campground

Bushfire threatens Vic campground

27 January 2007

published by www.theage.com.au

Australia — A new bushfire outbreak that was threatening campgrounds near Shepparton in northern Victoria has been brought under control.

The blaze erupted shortly after 8am at Reedy Swamp along the Goulburn River, 6kms north of Shepparton, and quickly took hold in tinderbox conditions, a Country Fire Authority (CFA) spokesman told ABC Radio.

At one stage, campers in the area were being urged to immediately evacuate the site for fear they could become trapped.

CFA crews battled for over two hours before bringing the bushfire under control, CFA state duty officer John Athorn said.

“The situation was impacted by a fairly stiff and gusty southerly wind which kept pushing the fire northwards.

“It is contained to the forest river frontage area and there will be a considerable amount of blacking out that the crews there will have to do this morning.”

It was the second fire outbreak in the area after another blaze took hold at Bunbartha, just north of Reedy Swamp, overnight.

“Campers should still consider their situation and while the fire is under control there is still an element of risk, especially with that stiff wind there and the Reedy Swamp fire has only just been brought under control,” Mr Athorn said.

More than 1.18 million hectares of land across the state have been burnt since the bushfire crisis began in early December.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) fire crews are still battling to control the Hermit Mountain bushfire in north-east Victoria, while a lot of work was still to be done around the Tatong fire north-east of Melbourne.

“There is a little bit of work being done today on the Tatong fire, hopefully with some backburning to burn out some unburnt fuels that need to be cleaned up so we don’t have fires coming out of that area when things warm up again,” Mr Athorn said.

“There is a lot of fire area still to be patrolled and a lot of blacking out and hard work still to be done in those areas.”

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