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File photo: Keith Packenham

Sunday bushfire update

Sunday bushfire update

File photo: Keith Packenham

10 fires remain active in Gippsland after lightning

Fire fighters are responding to a bushfire at Ramrod Creek, near Bruthen, one of ten still burning after lightning moved across the region on Thursday night.

The bushfire is travelling in a north-westerly direction towards Ramrod Creek. Having burned strongly overnight, it is now approaching Dead Horse Creek Road.

Firefighters have been not been able to stop the spread of the fire as yet. Controllers are advising local residents to stay close to a building they can shelter in, as conditions can change suddenly.

Meanwhile work continues on other fires ignited by lightning during last Thursday's significant weather event.

These fires are challenging for fire fighters, with access to most of the strikes being prohibitive due to the danger of falling trees and the steep, remote country where most are located.

Gippsland Regional Controller Ben Rankin said that although the weather is cooler and the wind has dropped considerably, a lot of these fires are in very remote areas and therefore terribly difficult to combat.

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With the extremely dry conditions East Gippsland has experienced over the past 3 years means some of these fires will be difficult to control.

“Our ground crews are battling to access some of these fires because of the steep, remote spots they are in," Mr Rankin said.

"This is where our planes and helicopters become indispensable.

"However people need to be aware that we need to prioritise which fires are worked on first,” he said.

There are currently ten going fires in Gippsland, with the majority north of Bairnsdale stretching up as far as Shannonvale in the far north of the region. In particular there are several fires currently active in the Gelantipy area.

Crews supported by heavy machinery and aircraft are working on containment line construction and actively directly attacking the fires.

Other fires are located in the Mitchell River National Park and to the west of Ensay.

Several fires have been contained over the last couple of days allowing resources from these fires to be directed elsewhere. There has been support from other regions, allowing more work to be conducted over a much larger area when conditions allow.

“There is a significant body of work to be done if these fires are to be contained," Mr Rankin said.

"We are utilising every resource available to us and that includes ground crews, heavy machinery and aircraft.

"It is important though that our communities remain vigilant, have their fire plans in place and seek information from more than one source."

Aircraft will continue to monitor the greater Gippsland area following last Thursday night's band of lightning, to assist in the detection of any new fires.

The community is reminded to stay informed and seek information from a range of trusted sources including the Vic Emergency App and emergency broadcasters including TRFM and Gippsland's Gold.

For up to date information and advice regarding bushfires and emergencies go to www.emergency.vic.gov.au or on the VicEmergency app, or by phoning the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226.

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