Peat swamps expected to keep burning

Peat swamps expected to keep burning

10 November 2008

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Australia — A recent fire in South West Victoria has resulted in a long-term safety issue, which is likely to stretch to the end of the summer.

A series of peat swamps south west of Dergholm, near the Nowacki Track, are expected to continue burning for the entire summer after they caught alight during the 217 hectare fire ignited by lightning last week.

While the fire is completely under control, the peat swamps on the eastern end of the fire area remain alight.

The swamps collectively cover about five hectares and are quite deep with fissures of up to two metres.

They are expected to continue burning throughout the summer unless there is significant rainfall.

However, due to the control work undertaken by fire crews there is low risk of escape and the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) will continue to monitor the swamps.

The DSE has advised these areas are now considered hazardous to anyone walking into or riding off the Nowacki Track, due to the potential for sinking into super-heated burning material, leading to the risk of serious burns.

Members of the public attempting to access these swamps will be alerted to the hazardous conditions and safety concerns, through the placement of signs adjacent the Nowacki Track.

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