‘Nightmarish’ blaze draws close

AN OUT-of-control bushfire in the Toongabbie and Cowwarr areas on Friday morning has seen some residents evacuate their homes.

Resident Donna Piper said her family evacuated their Fox’s Road home at 4am.

“We packed everything up in a horse float and just left,” Ms Piper told The Express.

“We could see fires glowing red; we could smell it.”

She said there were a few people who lived nearby, and could see lights on in her neighbours’ homes as the family left for Traralgon this morning.

Cowwarr resident Penny Hollonds said her family received a 444 (emergency) warning last night about 10pm.

Ms Hollonds said she made the decision to send her children with her mother to Sale, while she and her husband stayed to reassess the situation.

“I woke up at 3am and saw this massive red glow through the lounge room window; it was just nightmarish,” she said.

“It got to within about one kilometre of home and then the wind changed.

“I felt I could breathe again (about 8.50am on Friday) because the southwesterly winds hit and (fire crane) Elvis turned up, too.”

The Country Fire Authority issued an emergency warning for fire impacting Lake Glenmaggie, Cowwarr, Dawson, Glenmaggie, Heyfield, Seaton and Toongabbie as at 9.34am.

A wind change is expected mid-morning.