Mount Hotham

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Mt Hotham Resort Fires Update - 10pm


Saturday 9thth February 2013 – 10 pm



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


Conditions:       Currently; Light Rain and misty.  Temperature: 11’c (expected max. of 21’c)

                          Humidity: 64% Wind: Due NW at 24 km/h with gusts to 50 km/h.


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




Harrietville – Alpine Fire Statistics:


                                    North              South

Fire Area:                     12387 ha         2860 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





Current Status:


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




As result of the heavy aerial bombardment of the fire areas in the Davenport Catchment that continued unabated until dusk, the higher humidy, lower temperature and the light rain for 3 hours that a followed by an unexpected  short but very wet squall - the majority of the burnt areas and small fronts near the Resort have been extinguished.   There is still fire on the floor of the valley between Hotham and the 'Morning Star Spur'  plus fire on the spur itself, however there is no impediate threat to Mt Hotham Village. There is still smoke rising form the fires in 'Baldy Hollow' behind the village - but this front has been significantly subdued by the heavy aerial bombing for the last eleven hours.


The CFA and DSE will retain several units in the Davenport Village, Big D, Mt Higginbotham and Summit during the night and will monitor any residual burn/embers and extinguish any outbreaks from smoldering timbers.  


Further examination tonight of the burn areas behind Davenport Village have shown that the areas burnt are highly variable due to NWW winds whichasissted in driving the fire fronts away from some gullys abuting the Davenport Village.


The ski lodges ‘Peninsula, Valhalla, Kobla, IHP, Gravrot, Arrabri, Swindlers, Nindenthana, Eiger, Eumarellah, The Lodge, Vagabond and Bembooka plus the Sewerage Treatment Plant that were thought to be at risk, are now consider secure.  There has been NO fire ingress into the gully between these Lodges.


The main fronts within the Davenport Catchment are expected to continue their progress deeper  into the Dargo and toward the Dinner Plain Resort.


The spot fires S.W. of ‘Dinner Plain Village’, have increased in size but not dramatically and have not yet taken a ‘long run’.  It is expected that the fire will progress further into the ‘Dargo Plains’ and toward ‘Dinner Plain Village’.  DSE have indicated the control activities are limited until the weather moderates as the fire moves through untracked terrain.  An eastern control line is being prepared along ‘Dinner Plain Track’ to protect private assets.  CRB units are being located around ‘Dinner Plain Village’, plant operations are continuing to prepare fall back lines in ‘Matheson Track’ area. Ground and Air Observers are in area but smoke and fire conditions are making it difficult to get accurate information on fire edge.


The fires in ‘Alpine-North’ continue to burn. In particular on the fires at ‘Dimantina River’ on west boundary of the Resort continue to be of concern;  However, protecting Mt Hotham and Dinner Plain townships from the fire has been the primary objective for today.  Preventing spread across the ‘Great Alpine Road’ into the ‘Cobungra Catchment’ is critical to containing the eastern flank of the fire.  Holding the hot edge to the west of the ‘Diamantina River’ remains critical for preventing the easterly expansion of the fire and for protecting ‘Mt Hotham’ from fire from the north.  Numerous hot spots remain, right down to the ‘Diamantina River’ bank.  DSE crews are using hand-held IR detectors to locate hot spots for suppression.



Telecommunication Issues:  Internet reliability issues continue to disrupt the deliver of email newsletters - bulk delivery has not been consitent..  Further updates will be delivered by independent email servers until further notice.




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 ringing the MHARMB Office on 03 57593550 or emailing



09 February 2013