East Gippsland avoids blaze

East Gippsland avoids blaze

Gippsland did not escape Friday’s sweltering heart unscathed with a Rosedale bushfire threatening communities to the west of Bairnsdale.

Bairnsdale Fire Brigade captain, Aaron Lee, speaking with the Advertiser yesterday morning said no District 11 fire crews have been committed to the Rosedale fire, which is now under control but continues to burn.

On Friday and Saturday evening smoke was visible across the East Gippsland region.

Lee said it is a game of “wait and see” whether or not local crew will be called upon in the coming week.

Apart from a couple of small Nowa Nowa blazes on Wednesday and Thursday, which are believed to have been purposely lit, East Gippsland avoided what had the potential to be a dangerous bushfire day.

“We saw with the Rosedale fire how quickly it can get out of control. The fire was spotted quickly from a fire tower and within minutes trucks were on the road, but it just shows how quickly it can get out of control.”

The fire started around 1pm Friday and had burnt through a massive 10,000-hectare section of state park, shrub and forest, including pine plantation.

It was brought under control by 2.30pm on Saturday, however it is believed the fire may take week to full extinguish.

Weather conditions cooled on Saturday and yesterday and are expected to be favourable for firefighters throughout the week.

“We have a window of opportunity here. Heading into next weekend there will be some quite hot weather, and then probably the Monday after that will be the real test when we get to another day with that combination of hot weather and winds,” incident controller, Peter West, told a town meeting at Longford on Saturday.