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Mt Hotham Resort - Fires Update 10am

Mt Hotham Resort - Fires Update 10am

Thursday 7 February 2013 – 10am

Harrietville – Feathertop Fire Statistics:

Fire Area:                      9211 ha
Fire Perimeter:              94 km
Control Lines built:       208 km
Line to be built:             10 km
Potential Spread:           High

Resort Threat: High – currently NO active fires within Resort boundaries.
Conditions:       Currently; Clear.  Temperature: 12’c (expected max. of 22’c)
Humidity: 58% Wind: Due North at 33 km/h with gusts to 50 km/h.
Road Status:    Both Approaches Closed – Emergency Vehicle Access Only.

Current Status:

The ‘Harrietville – Mt Feathertop Fire’ remains classified as ‘going’ and has moved into the ‘Dargo’ overnight.  No asset losses have been reported to date. The wind direction has shifted slightly to the NNW overnight and has increased to 33 kmh with gusts to 50 kmh.  Humidity is currently 58%.

Increased fire activity yesterday and last night has resulted in the main fire in the East Ovens catchment crossing the Great Alpine Road in many places - including in the vicinity of Mt Sugarloaf, Mt Hope, Mt Smythe and Mt Blowhard - for its entire length from the Old Coach Rd / Great Alpine Road intersection north to Little Mount Baldy. 

CFA/DSE Crews were initially deployed along the northern portion of the Great Alpine Road to monitor fire activity from the East Ovens River, but were withdrawn at midnight, given approaching fire running westerly, towards the Great Alpine Road.

Reports indicate fire activity in the Razorback section is active. The CFA has been unable to determine at this stage if the fire has crossed the Dimantina River at this stage. The move into the ‘Dargo’ is of significant concern from a Hotham Resort perspective.  Further back-up strategies are being developed by CFA/DSE given that the fire has now breached the Great Alpine Road.

NOTE:  A 'Watch and Act' has been released for Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain by Emergency Authorities.

Today, Friday and Saturday remain classified ‘high-risk’.

Defence Strategies:

An Aerial ‘line-scan’ is to be undertaken this morning to provide intelligence regarding the extent of spotting and fire activity south and west of the Great Alpine Road.

Some tracks to the west and south of the Great Alpine Road have been brushed / cleaned up for fire control lines.

The MHRMB staff continues to patrol the Resort 24/7, monitoring the Resort environs for possible ember attacks and spot-overs. 

CFA/DSE are on call as required for asset protection at Mt Hotham and the MHARMB’s fire fighting assets are now deployed as part of the overall CFA resource allocation strategy within the resort.

The Hotham Village water Tanks at 95% capacity and the Snowmaking Dam is currently around 100% capacity which is currently being maintained by the limited Swindlers Creek flows.  To bolster Mt Hotham water capacity, the CFA have located two large articulated water tankers in the Village Car Park.  The CFA have installed three water refilling ‘pools’ for water bombing  - two in the Village Car-park and one in Davenport Subdivision to support the water bombing activities.

The Board has completed all necessary defensive slashing and combustible rubbish removal around village buildings and 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 is designated ‘Class A’ closure.  Both approaches are for Emergency Fire Services use only.

Further information can be obtained by emailing mhar@mthotham.com.au

Andrew Lean

Media Liaison – MHARMB

07 February 2013