Emergency services update Correct as at 08:00 hours 30 December 2015December 30, 2015
Please find attached the key messages update for today. There has been changes to the community meetings times which we have redistributed. Always refer to emergency.vic.gov.au for the most up to date and accurate information. Download 30122015 Lorne – Jamieson Tk Community Newsletter document for more information.
1. Emergency Services continue to prepare ahead of tomorrow (New Years’ Eve) when hot and windy conditions are forecast in many parts of the state. The forecast for the South West district on Thursday is Severe.
2. A heat health alert has been issued for people in the Central and North Central districts for Thursday. Temperatures are set to reach 40 in the Mallee and Wimmera and high 30s for Melbourne.
3. Emergency Services are reminding Victorians not to use illegal fireworks on New Year’s eve. We are particularly concerned about the risk this year, with dry grass and forests across the state. Fires and injuries are preventable.
4. The Wye River (Lorne) fire is yet to be controlled. There are several hotspots with potential to flare up when conditions worsen. Firefighters are working around the clock on the fire. Yesterday it increased in size by approximately 500 hectares.
5. 20 specialised firefighters from New Zealand will be deployed to support fire operations in Victoria for 21 days starting 4 January. Eight personnel from NSW will also travel to Victoria to fill support roles in Colac for four nights from 1 January.
6. There are still significant hazards in the Wye River area from falling trees, leaking sewage, landslips and unstable roads. Residents are being taken in to view the area but not yet allowed to stay.
7. A lot of work is being done to get vital infrastructure like roads, power, water and sewage restored. We hope to have roadblocks lifted by next week, but first the area needs to be made completely safe.
8. We acknowledge everyone involved in the relief and recovery effort – they are doing incredible work.
9. The Great Ocean Road is open through to Lorne. We encourage people to visit and enjoy areas such as Lorne, Angelsea, Aireys Inlet and Fairhaven. Visitors can still get to Apollo Bay and the 12 Apostles via Colac and Camperdown.
Weather and conditions
Today (Wednesday) – Fine and mostly sunny. Warm near the coast with fresh afternoon sea breezes, hot inland with mainly light winds.
Surf coast area: Mostly sunny afternoon. Light winds becoming east to southeasterly 20 to 30 km/h in the early afternoon then tending east to northeasterly in the late evening.
WYE RIVER (LORNE/Jamieson’s Track) FIRE – ADVICE – 2800 hectares – fire perimeter 39 km.
· There are around 500 personnel working each day on the fire. Crews continue to patrol and black out around the fire perimeter and around townships, along with work on control lines. Crews are preparing for conditions to worsen on Thursday.
· Yesterday afternoon communities near to the fire may have seen an increase in the number of planes in the air. These were doing fly-over preparations ahead of Thursday and Friday.
· 20 ‘arduous’ firefighters will help with physical ground work building containment lines with rakes with the remainder filling roles in Incident Management Teams). They will start work on 4 January and will stay for 21 days.
· Eight personnel from NSW will travel to Victoria to fill Incident Management Team roles in Colac for four nights starting on 1 January.
· Aircraft are key to the attack given the fire is burning in steep and mostly inaccessible terrain. A Large Air Tanker and at least two water bombers will be working on the fire today.
· Residents of Kennett River are now able to return to their properties. They can allow show ID at the police checkpoint at Skenes Creek.
· The Wye River Camping Ground is still not safe for people to return to collect their property and authorities are currently working hard to allow access as soon as possible.
· Power has been restored to 75 per cent of area of Separation Creek and Wye River.
· Anyone wanting to enquire about property losses should call the Victorian Emergency Recovery Information Line on 1300 799 232.
· The fire at Delaneys Road is still under control and still in containment lines. Ongoing patrolling is occurring which will identify any hot spots. (Lorne is located 10km west of this fire)
Community meetings – Wednesday 30 December
· Deans Marsh – 1.00pm – Deans Marsh Hall, Pennyroyal Valley Road, Deans Marsh
· Lorne – 5pm – Lorne Cumberland Resort Auditorium, 150 Mountjoy Parade, Lorne
· Forrest – 10am – Forrest Public Hall, 14 Grant Street, Forrest
· Apollo Bay – 2pm – Apollo Bay Emergency Relief Centre, 34 Costin Street, Apollo Bay
Traveller information and Park Closures
· Much of the Great Ocean Road region is unaffected by the fire. Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland are all accessible via the Princes & Hamilton Highways which are unaffected by fire.
· Accredited Visitor information Centres can assist in helping you plan your journey.
· Great Otway National Park is closed from Deans Marsh Road south to Skenes Creek. Jamieson and Wye River campgrounds are closed along with a number of local walking tracks.
· Info on park and walking track closures is available at parkweb.vic.gov.au
· People affected by the Great Ocean Road fires can visit the Apollo Bay Relief Centre which is located at Apollo Bay Leisure Centre, 34 Costin Street, Apollo Bay.
· The Apollo Bay Relief Centre will be open today and Thursday from 10am to 5pm.
· Many koalas in bushland near Wye River and Lorne have been injured or displaced by fire.
· DELWP are leading the effort to assess the impacts on wildlife.
· Triage centre will be set up in Lorne with two vets and three wildlife officers. The wildlife officers are accessing the fireground to locate injured animals.
· The fireground is still not safe for wildlife volunteers. We’re asking trained wildlife volunteers to wait until they are contacted by the local Colac Incident Control Centre.
· If you would like to assist the wildlife recovery efforts, contact your local wildlife centre or wildlife carer. Injured animals can be reported to the Colac ICC on 5233 5565.
· Financial assistance is available to eligible residents impacted by the fires.