Bluff fire is contained
RESIDENTS of Mansfield Shire have welcomed the news that camping grounds and tourist sites in the local area will be re-opened.
Incident controller at the Mansfield Incident Control Centre, Paul Foster, said while many sites will open, the Alpine National Park and parts of the adjacent state forest would remain closed.
“We understand how important it is to the local community and businesses to have these areas re-opened to the public as soon as it is safe to do so,” Mr Foster said.
“Fire crews have done a great job to limit the impact of the fire on the environment and community, and now our focus is to open up these areas for visitors.”
Areas to re-open following the lifting of the State of Disaster declaration last week include Craig’s Hut, Stirling Circuit Road, Razorback Hut and Howqua Hills Historic Area.
Camping sites along the Howqua, Jamieson and Goulburn
River will also re-open, including Running Creek, Skipworth Reserve, Sheepyard Flat, Wrens Flat, Granny’s Flat, Tobacco Flat and Tunnel Bend Flat.
Visitors can also visit nearby Mount Samaria State Park, Strathbogie State Forest, Toombullup State Forest and Delatite Arm Reserve.
“We do, however, ask campers to never leave their campfire unattended and ensure it’s completely out before leaving,” Mr Foster said.
The Alpine Resort Management Board also welcomes the reopening of Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Alpine resorts.
Forest Fire Management Victoria and Parks Victoria have been working hard on assessments of the state forests and parks around the bushfire affected areas.
Firefighting efforts at the Bluff Creek fire meant that the fire is now under control, after some two and a half weeks of both on ground and aircraft crews battling the blaze.
“More than 411,000 hectares has been impacted by fire across Victoria’s North East, with several large fires not yet under control,” Mr Foster said.
“Further re-openings of forest and parks will be considered as conditions dictate and as fires are controlled.”
Recent and milder conditions have given crews short-term reprieve from fire in some areas of the state, however, the risk is not yet over this season.
While fire authorities are still working to bring fires across the region under control, areas affected are also entering recovery mode, so the hard work is still far from over.
“There are still several national park, forest and road closures in place and there remains a risk of landslides and falling trees,” Mr Foster said.
“We ask anyone travelling into the area to please monitor weather conditions and check the VicEmergency app or website for current information on local conditions before heading out.”