Bluff fire is con­tained

Mansfield Courier - - Front Page -

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.”

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