An­cona fire still burning

Benalla Ensign - - Front Page -

Fire­fight­ers yes­ter­day re­mained on the scene of a medium bush­fire at An­cona, north of Bon­nie Doon, for the third con­sec­u­tive day.

The smell of smoke was in the air in the Be­nalla area on Sun­day night as the 90 ha blaze trav­elled slowly in a northerly di­rec­tion from Black Ore Rd, to­wards Dry Creek Rd and An­cona Rd.

Yes­ter­day the blaze was more than 190 ha in size, how­ever, a wind change caused the smoke to drift in a southerly di­rec­tion.

Watch and Act alerts were is­sued for An­cona and Dry Creek res­i­dents, while ad­vice was is­sued for Lima South, Lima East, Lima, Gooram, Swanpool, Sa­maria and War­ren­bayne res­i­dents.

A State Con­trol Cen­tre spokesper­son said the fire started just be­fore 4 pmon Sun­day at a pri­vate prop­erty and within about five min­utes the fire had spread to state for­est. The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Overnight on Sun­day about 100 fire­fight­ers from the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­ment, Land, Wa­ter and Plan­ning and Coun­try Fire Author­ity — in­clud­ing per­son­nel from Be­nalla — be­gan set­ting up con­tain­ment lines in an ef­fort to stop the spread of the fire.

Due to the ter­rain many fire­fight­ers had to go in on foot and es­tab­lish the con­tain­ment lines by hand, and sev­eral water­bomb­ing air­crafts were called in to as­sist on Mon­day and Tues­day.

Back burning op­er­a­tions con­tin­ued yes­ter­day and in­creased smoke will be vis­i­ble from nearby com­mu­ni­ties and roads for sev­eral days.

The State Con­trol Cen­tre spokesper­son said although there was no im­me­di­ate threat to homes, if the fire jumped the con­tain­ment lines then it could be of con­cern to res­i­dents.

Those who choose to leave their home are ad­vised to travel to the home of fam­ily or friends that is away from the warn­ing area. When driv­ing, slow down and turn on your head­lights as smoke may make it dif­fi­cult to see.

Re­mem­ber to take your pre­scrip­tions and med­i­ca­tion, photo ID, bot­tles of wa­ter, your mo­bile phone and charger and con­sider what you will do with your pets.

Con­tact a fam­ily mem­ber or friend to alert them of your plans, and check your neigh­bours if you have time.

Stay in­formed via www.emer­gency.vic.gov.au, tune in to ABC Lo­cal ra­dio or other des­ig­nated ra­dio sta­tions, or phone the Vic­to­rian Bush­fire In­for­ma­tion Line on 1800 240 667.

Lis­ten­ing: Fed­eral Mem­ber for Indi Cathy McGowan lis­tens to the con­cerns of Be­nalla res­i­dents Robert MacDon­ald, Lee Voigt and Ann Wil­son dur­ing her train trip to Mel­bourne last week.

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