Mount Hotham

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Mt Hotham Resort Fires Update - 9am

Mt Hotham Resort Fires Update - 9am

Saturday 9 February 2013 – 9am


Harrietville – Alpine Fire Statistics:

                                        North              South

Fire Area:                       12124 ha         2175 ha 

Fire Perimeter:               89 km              11 km

Control Lines built:        208 km            10 km

Line to be built:              10 km              50 km

Potential Spread:            High                High


Photo: Fire Running up behind the General Store  


Resort Threat: Very High – currently ACTIVE fires within Resort boundaries.

Conditions:       Currently; Clear.  Temperature: 17’c (expected max. of 21’c)

  Humidity: 45% Wind: Due NNW at 22 km/h with gusts to 34 km/h.

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


Current Status:

Mt Hotham Village continues to be under direct threat from fires along its full Southern Boundary.  

The fire continues to burn on SW boundary of the Resort.  During last night the fire on ‘Morning Star Spur’ to the South of the Resort first raced into the ‘Baldy Hollow’ below the Village threatening to come up onto the SW side of the ‘Corral Car-park’ and up the side of the ’Summit’, however the fire then slowed and has remained active in ‘Baldy Hollow' just below the 'Village centre'.  The fire then travelled in a SE direction along ‘Baldy Creek/Morning Star Spur’ valley racing up each gully in turn - toward the backs of Mt Higginbotham, General Store, Gallows Drive, Dargo Court and on toward the Sewerage Plant and the lodges at the end of Davenport Drive.  At each point, CFA/DSE moved resources and crew and defended the fire.


At this stage there are uncontrolled fires in ‘Baldy Hollow’ and subdued fires in the areas behind Tantani, Asgaard, Pegasus, Asterix, Bundarra, Wongungarra, Tallawarra Lodges.  The fire is active in the valley directly below and on ‘Morning Star’ Spur opposite the ‘The Lodge’, ‘Vagabond’ & the Village Sewerage Treatment Plant.

Winds today are highly variable and very gusty, making fire activity unpredictable throughout the Resort.  The fire in 'Baldy Hollow' and in the valley at the end of Davenport Drive is of significant concern.

Heavy Aerial water bombardment of the fires has recommenced focusing on the Davenport and Big-D .

Resort Staff have are continuing to lay ‘Foschek’ fire retardant around Resort assets, cut further fire breaks. The CFA Strike Teams continue to be located in the Davenport Area and throughout the Hotham Alpine Resort.

The Resort remains clear of smoke as the North-west wind is currently driving the all smoke and embers back into the Dargo – at this stage there is no wind born debris landing within the Resort.

Attached Photos: Fire behind Peninsula shot from Vagabond Balcony, Fire behind Austen Ski Club, Fire in Baldy Hollow from Corral Car-park, Fire in valley shot from ‘The Lodge’ Balcony, Fire behind Davenport looking from the Big D, Fire in Baldy Hollow from the Top of Mt Higginbotham.

A more detailed report will be provided later in the morning


Photo:  Fire in Baldy Hollow from Village Corral Carpark

Photo:  Fire behind the Davenport Sub-division from taken from the Big D.


Photo:  Erickson Skycrane over Summit Lift on the way to Davenport Fires


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. 

The Great Alpine Road is likely to remain closed for up to several weeks, due to the high risk of burnt 2003-fire-killed Alpine Ash above the road falling down onto the road.  Plans for treatment of this risk are beginning to be developed.


Further information can be obtained by emailing


Andrew Lean

Media Liaison – MHARMB

09 February 2013