HEATHCOTE residents are urged to have a plan in place as the risk of fire increases.
After a slow start to the bushfire season due to the extended bouts of rain, the heat has well and truly set in, putting locals in danger if they do not heed fire warnings and are aware of the fire danger ratings.
Heathcote CFA Brigade Captain Carl Watkins said that while fire activity was quiet pre-Christmas, it has certainly picked up, with plenty of recent unwanted fires.
‘‘It’s about to get pretty volatile. Most of the grass is becoming fully cured,’’ Mr Watkins said.
‘‘Residents need to take notice of any fire warnings and become familiar with the fire danger ratings.’’
Approximately 100 hectares were burnt in a fire on Lintons Lane in Mia Mia on January 3, with 30 fire trucks and three helicopters helping to put out the flames.
A small fire at Lake Eppalock in Derrinal required two tankers on January 5, while January 7 saw two separate fires, one just out of Heathcote on the Northern Highway, with four tankers attending. The other occurred in Elmore, requiring 15 tankers and two helicopters as it burnt approximately 30 hectares.
■ THE fire that gutted a house in Redcastle just after Christmas is now believed to have started from a wood heater an investigation by local police and Mt Camel fire brigade have determined.
On December 28, a fire broke out within the house, quickly engulfing the property in which a man lived with his son.
By the time the first brigade arrived on the scene, the house was fully engulfed, with the flames spreading to nearby grass which was promptly put out. No one was seriously injured.