Cold change helps fire crews battle blaze

THE earlier-than-expected cold change which occurred easing into the long weekend allowed fire crews battling the Aberfeldy-Donnelys bushfire to consolidate containment lines.

According to a media update on Saturday morning from the Department of Sustainability and Environment and the Country Fire Authority, crews were actively patrolling the fire perimeters, and would continue backburning operations south of Licola.

“The fire has remained within control lines,” the statement said.

As of Saturday, 438 personnel, 150 vehicles, 21 dozers and 14 aircraft were involved in fighting the fire, which had burnt through almost 70,000 hectares.

“The fire perimeter is now 416 kilometres in length and 220km of control line has been constructed,” it said.

It added rehabilitation works were underway, and reminded residents of Gippsland towns affected by the fire financial grants up to $30,000 were available under the State Government’s Emergency Re-establishment Assistance Scheme.