VICTORIAN STATEWIDE OVERVIEW
Updated 29/01/2007 11am
The total area burned since I July 2006 is 1,186,496 ha. The main areas of the fire effort are the Tambo-Bruthen sectors of the Great Divide South Complex and the Hermit Mountain (Thredbo) fire in far north east Victoria.
Recent cooler temperatures in the Great Divide South have provided some relief to communities and fire-fighters.
The Great Alpine Road and the Buchan Ensay Road are open to all traffic. But many roads and tracks in the fire affected areas in East Gippsland around Omeo, Swifts Ck, Bruthen and Bairnsdale and near Corryong are not safe and have been closed. The Dargo High Plains Road from Dargo to Mt. St Bernard remains closed.
Updated 29/01/07 11am
Great Divide Complex South
The Great Divide Complex South has now burnt about 676,000 ha. Cooler temperatures across the Great Divide South Complex are providing relief to the local community and firefighters; however, limited rainfall amounts in some areas mean there is still potential for active fire behaviour over the coming days.
Tracks and roads within the fire area remain closed to the public. These areas will remain closed for many weeks, possibly months yet.
While the Great Alpine Road and the Buchan-Ensay Road are now open to all traffic many roads and tracks in around Omeo, Swifts Ck, Bruthen and Bairnsdale are not safe and have been closed. The Dargo High Plains Road from Dargo to Mt. St Bernard remains closed.
Tourist facilities in the Buchan, Lakes Entrance, Metung, Bruthen, Omeo, Bairnsdale, Paynesville and surrounding districts are all open.
Motorists need to travel cautiously and slowly on the roads around the fire especially the Great Alpine Road as visibility may be reduced due to smoke, and crews may be working close to the roadside. Please obey all road closures and speed restriction signs in these areas and keep lights on during smoky conditions.
Details of road closures can be found at the VicRoads website. Alternatively listen to ABC Radio or local radio for updates.
NORTH EAST VICTORIA
Updated 29/01/07 11am
The Hermit Mountain fire is about 5000 ha in size, with about 2700 ha in Victoria.
No hotspots have been detected in the New South Wales portion of the fire over the past 5 days and this section has been declared under control.
Tom Groggin Picnic and Camping Area and the Pilot Wilderness, including Bobs Ridge Walking Area, is now open to public use. The Grassy Flat and Murray Gates Trails remain closed, as well as numerous other tracks in the area. Visit the NSW Rural Fire Service website for track closures in NSW.
Although the Tatong and Great Divide Complex North fires are now contained, the areas around the fires could still be considered dangerous. Anyone travelling through areas affected by fire should be alert to the slippery roads and the significant risk of falling trees and dislodged rocks.
Tatong - Watchbox Creek Rd
The fire is now contained.
Great Divide Complex North
This fire is now contained. The Great Divide Complex North has burnt about 370,600 ha (or 3,760 square kilometres).
A poster from the past. The message is the same today.
Black Friday Jan 13 1939 left blacked forests and 1.4 m hectares burned