The aftermath of the bushfire in Seaton, Australia in January 2013. Photo: Craig Sillitoe / Sydney Morning Herald

By Adrian Lowe
7 February 2013

(Sydney Morning Herald) – Fire crews are battling to control large bushfires that have broken containment lines in the state’s east amid high temperatures.

The Aberfeldy fire, near Licola, north-east of Mount Baw Baw, became more active because of a north-westerly wind, a spokesman from the State Bushfire Control Centre said.

The fire broke the control lines and crews were mopping up to keep it in check, he said.

The Country Fire Authority expects that the fire will have an impact on the communities of Glenfalloch and Wollangarra until 2.30pm. Residents in those communities are urged to follow their bushfire survival plans.

The Heyfield-Licola Road is closed at the intersection with Glenmaggie Point Road.

Large plumes of smoke are visible through the region.

The Harrietville fire is burning in inaccessible countryside, the spokesman said, and aircraft were being used to control it. [more]

Bushfire bears down on alpine towns


By Caroline Zielinski
7 February 2013

(Sydney Morning Herald) – Fire danger conditions in Victoria today are likely to be dynamic, with strong winds forecast for the North Central district of the state.

The Country Fire Authority has declared a total fire ban in the Northern Country, North Central, Central - including Melbourne and Geelong- North East, East Gippsland, and West and South Gippsland districts.

With soaring temperatures across the state accompanied by extremely strong winds, particularly in the Alpine area, firefighters are focused on two main fires - the Harrietville-Feathertop and the Aberfeldy-Donnellys blazes.

A CFA spokesperson said that despite fairly low fire activity overnight, the Harrietville-Feathertop fire had breached containment lines on the western and southern side of the Great Alpine Road, with the perimeter now reaching close to a 100 kilometres.

However, it has not impacted on any additional communities.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokesperson said that "there is a lot of work to be done on both fires, but the main concern for today is the Feathertop fire due to the wind conditions.

"The 9am winds out there are already about 35km/h, soon to be about 50," he said earlier.

Soaring temperatures will also impact today's fire activity, with Gippsland already experiencing temperatures into the low 30s. [more]

Winds set to fan fires as mercury climbs

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