Fire danger rating hits severe level

COLAC district volunteer firefighters spent yesterday checking the weather on the city’s second total fire ban day for the year.

CFA Corangamite group officer Mark Billing and Beeac group officer Geoff Fisk were at the Colac Fire Station monitoring the temperature and wind speed.

CFA Corangamite group officer Mark Billing, left, and Beeac group officer Geoff Fisk kept a close watch during yesterday’s total fire ban.

The fire danger rating was severe around 10am when wind gusts hit 91 kilometres an hour at Mount Gellibrand, north-east of Colac.

The temperature reached 33.5 degrees at 1.30pm.

Mr Billing said the Beeac and Corangamite groups controlled 21 brigades in the western half of the Otways and north to Lake Corangamite.

“We co-ordinate the response depending on the size of the fire,” he said.

“We have direct access to the CFA network, and all pager messages for each brigade.”

Mr Billing said the Corangamite group shared responsibility for the Otways with the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

“We can talk direct to the DSE from here,” he said.

Mr Fisk said yesterday’s conditions automatically meant five tankers would attend an incident.

“A Colac truck could be out the door within five to six minutes,” he said.

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