Mount Hotham

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Mt Hotham Resort Fire Update - 3pm

Tuesday 12thth February 2013


Harrietville ‚Äď 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




Resort Threat:¬† Medium ‚Äď currently NO active fires within Resort boundaries.


Conditions:       Currently;  Clear,   Temperature: 17’c (expected max. of 18’c) 

                           Humidity:  59%, Wind:  East at 8 km/h with gusts to 11 km/h.


Road Status:¬† ¬†¬†¬†Both Approaches Closed ‚Äď Emergency & Essential Service Vehicle Access Only.




Current Status:




The ‚ÄėHarrietville ‚Äď Alpine North Fire‚Äô remains classified as ‚Äėgoing‚Äô and are continuing to spread.


The mild and damp conditions overnight have assisted in keeping the main fire fronts subdued.  Conditions at 'Mt Hotham' are mild with changing and variable winds currently from the East at 8 kmh.  Humidity has been falling and is currently 60%.


Late this morning, MHARMB staff member, Gavin Moody, and the Deputy Incident Controller from Swifts Creek ICC undertook an extended aerial survey of the Mt Hotham fire areas.  The only area of ongoing threat is the fire currently in the 'Dargo Catchment' near 'No Name Creek' below the 'Hotham Sewerage Treatment Plant'.  The rest of the active fires close to the Resort, including the fires at 'Dimantina River' to the North,  appear to have been extinguished.


The main fronts within the 'Davenport Catchment' are expected to continue their progress and spread within the 'Dargo National Park'. ¬†The fire has run to the South and South-east, with several large spots ahead of the main fire.¬†¬† Crews¬†have completed significant defensive preparations, including a bull-dozer ‚Äėcontrol-cut‚Äô right around the SE perimeter to protect private assets.


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.  Michael Masters is the current the Incident Controller, Swifts Creek.




CFA/DSE Burning Activities:


Discussions between MHARMB and the ICC have determined that the 'No Name Creek'  fire is a significant and ongoing threat to 'Davenport Village' and 'Sewerage Treatment Plant'.  Consequently, it has been agreed that a 'burn' should be undertaken between the 'Sewerage Treatment Plant' and 'Slatey Cutting'.     Inspection of the proposed burn area has identified large amounts of combustible ground material,  increasing the risk of an airborne ember attack on the 'Davenport' lodges - consequently a conservative approach to this burn is required.  It has been agreed the CFA will relocate a full strike team to Mt Hotham for the burn, place Tankers & Slip-ons across the Davenport, including at the ends of Dargo & Gallows Courts - to ensure any resultant airborne burning material and spot-overs are promptly extinguished.. 


Overnight, 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 operating 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 'Incident Control Coordinator'.¬† The GAR to Harrietville Road is designated as ‚ÄėClass A‚Äô closure ‚Äď strictly no access.¬† The GAR from Dinner Plain ‚Äď Hotham Heights is designated ‚ÄėClass B‚Äô closure.¬† Both approaches are for Emergency Fire and Essential Services use only and are expected to remain close for several weeks.


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.  





Further information can be obtained by ringing the MHARMB Office on 03 5759 3550 or emailing 



Andrew Lean

Media Liaison ‚Äď MHARMB

12 February 2013