Shots fired at tower

A FIRE watch tower was recently damaged by gunshots, resulting in two smashed windows.

The Mount Tanjil fire tower, located in the Tanjil State Forest, north of Moe, is the main lookout used across the Latrobe Valley and forest areas on the Baw Baw plateau.

Department of Sustainability and Environment regional communications adviser Rachel Dawkins said “estimated costs to replace (the windows) is between $2500 and $3000, as a crane will have to be used to lift new windows into place”.

The incident comes soon after the Mount Useful fire tower was also vandalised.

Heyfield district manager Graeme Taylor said the Mount Useful tower’s doors and locks had been forced open, shutters broken, fencing cut, sprayed with graffiti, and the main ladder was damaged.

“It’s unbelievable that anyone would actively damage a structure that is vital for the early detection of bushfires and the protection of our communities,” Mr Taylor said.

“Our fire towers and fire tower operators are our eyes and ears in the summer months and provide a dedicated and critical service to help prevent the spread of bushfires.”

Anyone with any information should phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or the DSE customer service centre on 136 186.