Ancona fire still burning
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.