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FED: Snapshot of Victorian bushfires

11 Feb 2009 8:17 PM
Subject: FED: Snapshot of Victorian bushfires FED: Snapshot of Victorian bushfires


Death toll: 181

Number of fires:

Victoria - 21 bushfires remain out of control, with 11 others contained and dozens more under control.


Victoria - 20 people admitted to The Alfred hospital with burns. Seven remain in a critical condition and the others are in a stable condition. Ambulance Victoria unable to collate the number of people with lesser injuries but expected to number at least in the hundreds.


Victoria - at least 1,033 homes destroyed, including 550 in the Kinglake area; more than 450,000ha burnt out.

Fighting the fires:

Victoria - 1,200 CFA firefighters and 1,500 Department of Sustainability and Environment firefighters joined by 250 firefighters from NSW, 95 from the ACT, 94 from Tasmania and 110 from South Australia, 22 from WA, along with disaster identification experts from around the nation. Offers of further assistance have come from NSW (offering more personnel), the Northern Territory and the United States. New Zealand firefighters to arrive Friday.


Victoria - forecast state max on Tuesday is 28 at Wangaratta; Melbourne max 23; Isolated showers in the south, mainly about the coast and more widespread over East Gippsland. Isolated afternoon thunderstorms in the east. Dry in the north. Cool to mild with moderate to fresh south to southeast winds. Maximum fire danger: very high in the north, high elsewhere.

Main fires:


- The ferocious East Kilmore and Murrindindi Mill fires have merged, burning almost 230,000ha together with the deadly Yea-Murrindindi fire. The fire has razed at least 550 homes and has killed at least 147 people in a wide area from Wandong, north of Melbourne, to Marysville and Taggerty by 7pm (AEDT) on Tuesday. Worst hit towns are Kinglake (35 deaths confirmed), Strathewen (30), St Andrews (22). Marysville (15). An urgent threat message is in place for residents near Connellys Creek, Crystal Creek, Scrubby Creek, Native Dog Creek, Acheron, Cathedral Lane, the Thornton-Taggerty Road and Bulls Lane - all south and west of Alexandra - as southerly winds fan fire front in the Black Range and Blue Range.


A series of fires near Healesville, now known as the Maroondah/Yarra Complex, is still out of control but the threat has eased to the towns of Healesville, Chum Creek, Badger Creek, Steels Creek, Dixons Creek, Yarra Glen, Toolangi and Castella. The fires have burned more than 1,100ha.


- A 29,000ha blaze southeast of Beechworth, in Victoria's northeast, still listed as out of control as at 7pm Wednesday but threat to communities has been downgraded. Residents of Beechworth, Myrtleford, Stanley, Dederang, Gundowring, Gundowring Upper, Glen Creek, Kergunyah South, Mudgegonga, Bruarong, Kancoona, Kancoona South, Murmungee, Yackandandah and Running Creek are urged to stay alert to fire activity in their area.


- The almost 36,000ha Churchill fire in the Latrobe Valley region of Gippsland has killed at least 21 people. Fresh southerly winds are again flaring the fire front. Communities of Hazelwood South, Jeeralang, Jeeralang North, Jeeralang Junction, Balook, Le Roy, Jumbuck, Valley View Budgeree East, Traralgon South, Callignee, Callignee North and Callignee South are on alert.


- More than 25,000ha of state park and private land now burned. Residents in and around Nayook and Neerim Junction are on alert.


- Alpine fire in East Gippsland approximately 15,000ha in size.

AAP jrd/jm/=0A

FED: Snapshot of Victorian bushfires