Crews brace for ‘monster’ fire

by admin on September 30th, 2019

filed under 苏州半永久

“They are just so sure that the fire will jump containment lines if the wind picks up as predicted,” said a spokesman for the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE).


The spokesman said the fires, which have blackened more than 800,000 hectares in Victoria, were now so large that a wind change could make conditions much worse.

“In terms of how dry the bushland is – the fire situation – it really is a monster out there,” he said.

Fire has surrounded Mount Buller, with Mirimbah, Sheepyard Flat and Sawmill Settlement to the north and Howqua Hills and Tobacco Flat to the south on alert.

Although conditions today were calmer, a fire yesterday briefly broke containment lines at Mansfield and resources are stretched at other danger points.

Senior forecaster with the Bureau of Meteorology Richard Carlyon said northerly winds would pick up a little this afternoon and tonight, and would be strong tomorrow.

He said in ridge-top areas, around where fires are raging, it would get to about 25-30 knots tomorrow, with gusty winds of up to 15 knots in valleys.

Temperatures in Melbourne were forecast to reach 35 degrees today, with conditions in the fire areas to reach the low 30s today and tomorrow, Mr Carlyon said.

He said the cool change would not likely hit fire areas in the high country until just before midnight tomorrow, when rains of 5-10 millimetres are expected.

Deputy chief officer with the Country Fire Authority Graham Fountain said there was no end in sight to the bushfire emergency.

He said if containment lines broke, there were too many towns at risk to list, but those in the Mansfield-Mount Buller corridor and on the southern and eastern edges of the fire were among areas that could be worst affected.

Mr Fountain said if only 5-10 millimetres of rain fell, it would make conditions worse for fire-fighters.

“That amount of rain does more harm than good. It makes roads slippery and makes it harder to do back-burning,” he said.

There are now 4,700 fire-fighters on the frontline fighting the fires and thousands more working behind the scenes to help coordinate efforts, Mr Fountain said.

Top End crews pitch in

Fire-fighters from the Northern Territory (NT) are heading south to help fight Victoria’s bushfires.

Ten grassfire units and other equipment will be trucked to the fire ravaged state this week, while 25 fire-fighters and incident management personnel will fly to Victoria after Christmas.

The CEO of NT Police, Fire and Emergency Services (NTPFES) Paul White entered into the agreement with Victorian authorities yesterday.

“Resources from NTPFES and other territory resources are among many resources being drawn upon to battle these fires and the ongoing threat,” Commissioner White said.

Commissioner White said the agreement was an example of cross-jurisdictional cooperation and the ability to provide assistance in response to critical incidents.

“It’s not just a matter of battling blazes that are burning at the moment, but also about providing relief for those personnel caught up in the efforts at the moment,” he said.

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