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Mt Hotham Resort Fire Update - 12noon

Mt Hotham Resort Fire Update - 12noon

Tuesday 12thth February 2013





Harrietville – Alpine Fire Statistics:


                                     North         South

Fire Area:                    17200ha     8373 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: Erickson Skycrane over Summit Lift Bottom Station






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


Conditions:       Currently;  Clear,   Temperature: 14’c (expected max. of 18’c) 

                           Humidity:  73%, Wind:   WNW at 13 km/h with gusts to 20 km/h.


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




Current Status:




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


The mild and damp conditions overnight have assisted in keeping the main fire fronts subdued.  Conditions in 'Mt Hotham Village' are mild with light winds from WNW at 13 kmh and humidity at 73%. 


Fires are still active in national park SE and NNW of the Resort.  Fires in the 'Upper Dargo Catchment', 'Morning Star Spur', below 'Baldy Hollow' - remain of concern.


The SSE wind change yesterday drove the fire in the 'Baldy Hollow' area into  'Avalanche Gully' (behind the Mt Hotham Village Central)  and up the back of the 'Summit'.  MHARMB and Lift Company staff  worked into the evening,  successfully controlling this ptentially serious outbreak.


The main fronts within the 'Davenport Catchment' are expected to continue their progress and spread deeper into the 'Dargo National Park'.  The fire has run to the South and South-east, with several large spots ahead of the main fire.   The S.S.E wind change may drive the fire back toward the GAR and the 'Dinner Plain Village'.   Crews have completed significant defensive preparations, including a ‘control-cut’ right around the SE perimeter to protect private assets.


Holding the fire 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.


As a result of the progress of the main fires further into the 'Dargo', Incident Control responsibility for 'Mt Hotham' and 'Dinner Plain' have been transferred from the 'Ovens ICC' (Incident Control Centre) to the ICC located at 'Swifts Creek' as at 8am this morning.  




CFA/DSE Burning Activities:


Over night, crews successfully back-burnt 9km south of 'Ambion Point' on the 'Ambion Track' through to and including the 'Link Track'.  The situation is currently being assesses with a view to continuing burning opertaings along the 'Pheasant Creek Track'.  The planned control-line will continue to be brushed up in coming days to 'Montana Track, 'Twins Jeep Track' and 'Wongungarra Tracks'.




CFA/DSE Control Strategies;


Maintain fire Control Lines South and South-west of 'Harrietville' along the 'West Ovens Track' , 'New Link Track' and 'Albion Track' to link with the Western Division strategy.

Continue to monitor and protect 'Mt Hotham Resort', 'Dinner Plain village' and other assets from fire.

Continue construction of fallback control lines to the west of the fire.

Contain any 'going' fire edge to the west of the 'Diamantina River'. 

Continue construction of fallback control lines to the west of the fire.




Village Access:


Both roads to the 'Hotham Village' are closed 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 is designated ‘Class B’ closure.  Both approaches are for Emergency Fire and Essential Services use only and are expected to remain close for several weeks.




Further information can be obtained by ringing the MHARMB Office on 03 57593550 or emailing




Andrew Lean

Media Liaison – MHARMB

12 February 2013