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Mt Hotham Resort Fire Update - 9am

Mt Hotham Resort Fire Update - 9am

Monday 11 February 2013 – 9am

Harrietville – Alpine Fire Statistics:

                                       North              South

Fire Area:                     15249ha          7066 ha 

Fire Perimeter:              95 km             120 km

Control Lines built:       208 km           10 km

Line to be built:             10 km              90 km

Potential Spread:           High                       High

 

 Photo: Valley behind Hotham Village from Corral Carpark

 

Resort Threat:  Medium – currently NO active fires within Resort boundaries.

Conditions:        Currently; Clear,   Temperature: 14’c (expected max. of 17’c) 

                           Humidity:  73%,   Wind: Due NNW at 17 km/h with gusts to 22 km/h.

 Road Status:    Both Approaches Closed – Emergency Vehicle Access Only.

 

Current Status:

The ‘Harrietville – Alpine North and South Fires’ remain classified as ‘going’ and are continuing to spread - condition overnight were classified as 'mild'.

THERE HAS BEEN NO DAMAGE TO PROPERTY OR INFRASTUCTURE

This morning is clear in the Mt Hotham Village – the predicted S.E. wind change did not eventuate overnight, the wind is currently at 17kmh from NNW.  The humidity has risen to 74%, the high humidity and fog conditions subdued the ‘going’ fire fronts close to Hotham overnight.

Fires are still active in national park SE and NNW of the Resort.   Fire behavior south of the Alps has generally been low over the past 24 hours; however fire behavior has been much greater to the north around Harrietville.  Uncontrolled fires in the 'Upper Dargo Catchment', 'Morning Star Spur', below 'Baldy Hollow' - are all of concern.  The status of the fire down at Dimantina River is currently unknown,

Burning overnight progressed along West Ovens Track south of Harrietville and on New Link Track to link to Albion Track. Burning of this section will continue today.

Crews continue to provide Asset protection to Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain there has been limited fire spread from spot fires and fire front south of Hotham and Dinner Plain. CFA Strike teams are positioned on Mt Hotham and available for asset protection as required.

Some back-burning was undertaken between Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain yesterday, however strong & variable winds and lighter fuels have meant that progress was slow with little depth achieved. Cooler air on the Mt Hotham/Dinner Plain area limited the continuation of this burn overnight. The aerial ‘drip torch’ ignition technology is scheduled to assist burn operations in this area, and down the Dinner Plain Rd  today.

The fires in ‘Alpine-North’ continue to burn. The fire located at ‘Dimantina River’ on west boundary of the Resort is unknown – there is no visible smoke rising from the area when viewed from the Summit this morning.  None the less, holding the ‘hot edge’ to the west of the ‘Dimantina River’ remains critical for preventing the easterly expansion of the fire and for protecting ‘Mt Hotham’ from fire from the north.   

In regards to 'Alpine-South fires, smoke can be clearly seen from the bottom of the Baldy Creek area in the 'Dargo Catchment', some 3 km away from the Lodges at the end of the Davenport Village. There is still fire below 'Baldy Hollow' despite intense aerial bombing of the area yesterday.  This fire has the potentially to run up the back of the Mt Hotham Summit when SE wind change arrives.

The main fronts within the 'Davenport Catchment' are expected to continue their progress and spread deeper  into the 'Dargo National Park' and toward the 'Dinner Plain Resort'.  The fire has run approx. 14 km to the South and South-east over the past 24 hours, with several large spots ahead of the main fire, DSE have indicated the control activities are limited until the weather moderates as the fire moves through untracked terrain. 

The fire front in the 'Dargo Plains' closest to 'Dinner Plain' is approx. 6 km south of  the 'Village' and is currently not progressing toward the village, rather running parallel to, but some 6 km to the S.W. of the Great Alpine Road in a south-easterly direction.  The anticipated S.E wind change could drive the fire back toward the GAR and the 'Dinner Plain Village'.  Crews have completed significant defensive preparations, including a bull-dozer ‘control-cut’ right around the SE perimeter to protect private assets.

 

Village Access:

Both roads to the Hotham Village are closed for the foreseeable future under direction of the ICC.  The GAR to Harrietville Road is designated as ‘Class A’ closure – strictly no access.  The GAR from Dinner Plain – Hotham Heights has been downgraded and  is designated ‘Class B’ closure.  Both approaches are for Emergency Fire and Essential Services use only. 

The Great Alpine Road from Hotham to Harrietville is closed due to the high risk of burnt 2003-fire-killed Alpine Ash above the road falling down onto the road.  The road will be assessed by VicRoads tomorrow and plans for treatment of this risk will be determined.

 

Further information can be obtained by ringing the MHARMB Office on 03 57593550 or emailing mhar@mthotham.com.au

 

Andrew Lean

Media Liaison – MHARMB

11 February 2013