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Mt Hotham Resort Fire Update - 12noon

Mt Hotham Resort Fire Update - 12noon

Monday 11thth February 2013 – 12 noon


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:  Smoke behind Davenport Village       


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

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

                           Humidity:  65%, Wind: Due north at 5 km/h with gusts to 15 km/h.

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


Current Status:

The ‘Harrietville – Alpine North and South Fires’ remain classified as ‘going’ and are continuing to spread.


The Village is currently smoky and still – making actual fire location difficult and preventing any aerial operations.   The humidity has dropped to 64%.

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 remains 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 is continuing whilst the winds are low.

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.

The fires in ‘Alpine-North’ continue to burn.  The fire located at ‘Dimantina River’ on west boundary of the Resort status remains unknown – there was no visible smoke rising from the ‘Diamantina River’ 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 – further bombing has not been possible in these conditions.  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, with several large spots ahead of the main fire.. 

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.


Photo:  Hotham Central taken from Hot Plate Drive


Photo: CFA Tankers refilling in the Corral Car-park


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


Andrew Lean

Media Liaison – MHARMB

11 February 2013