Crews working on fires

FIREFIGHTERS will continue to monitor two fires burning near Lorne over the Christmas break with temperatures set to rise again.

Lightning strikes over the weekend sparked one fire at Jamieson Track, 12 kilometres south-west of Lorne, and at Delaney’s Road, about 12 kilometres west of the coastal town.

The Jamieson Track fire has burnt about 104 hectares and firefighters were still working to contain it when the Colac Herald went to print yesterday.

Officials said people in neighbouring towns should expect increased smoke as fire crews started a burn in the area to remove fuel loads from the path of the fire.

Firefighters contained the Delaney’s Road fire on Monday after it burnt about six hectares of land.

Resources working on the fire include about 95 firefighters, 35 personnel in the Incident Management Team, 36 firefighting trucks, six dozers and five aircraft.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Otways district manager David Rourke said the fire at Jamieson’s Track had proved hard for firefighters to contain because it wasn’t easily accessible.

“It’s in very difficult, steep terrain where our options are limited to aerial bombing by helicopter, helliattack, and direct attack where we can with bulldozers,” Mr Rourke said.

“But also hand trail construction and there’s a considerable amount of that to be done,” he said.

“We’ll still be working on this fire for quite some time and leading into the Christmas break.”

Mr Rourke said department firefighters were working closely with the Country Fire Authority to contain both fires.

He said the department would continue to provide Wye River and Lorne residents and visitors information about the fire.

“We have had resources on the ground there talking to visitors and local businesses and we’ll continue to do that throughout the coming days leading up to Christmas,” Mr Rourke said.

“Obviously Parks Victoria will be assisting us with that and we’ve been connected well into both the Surf Coast and Colac Otway shires, and obviously Victoria Police and Vic-Roads as well.”

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