Crews on high alert

By Corowa Free Press

Surveillance flights will be flown across the north east region for the remainder of the week to detect new fires following significant lightning activity. 

During the last week Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVic) firefighters have responded to 81 fires across the region, the majority of which were started by lightning. 

Hume Assistant Chief Fire Officer Aaron Kennedy said crews have responded to fires in the Murrindindi, Upper Murray, Ovens and Goulburn districts during the weekend. 

“We fully anticipate that additional fires will start during the next few days as a direct result of the lightning and our fire detection towers will be operating for extended hours because of the increased threat.

“Firefighters, aircraft and heavy machinery are on standby ready to respond and the region’s two rappel crews, which are based at Ovens, will be rapidly deployed to any new fires.”

Mr Kennedy said staff from the region are also supporting fires burning in Gippsland. 

“Two taskforces totalling 53 firefighters and 10 Incident Management Team support staff from Hume are on their way to Gippsland where they will be deployed to a number of fires burning out of control in the region,” Mr Kennedy said. 

This summer Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighters have responded to 268 fires across the north east region.