Bushfire bears down on alpine towns

Fire crews are battling to control large bushfires that have broken containment lines in the state’s east amid high temperatures.

The Aberfeldy fire, near Licola, north-east of Mount Baw Baw, became more active because of a north-westerly wind, a spokesman from the State Bushfire Control Centre said.

The fire broke the control lines and crews were mopping up to keep it in check, he said.

The Country Fire Authority expects that the fire will have an impact on the communities of Glenfalloch and Wollangarra until 2.30pm. Residents in those communities are urged to follow their bushfire survival plans.

The Heyfield-Licola Road is closed at the intersection with Glenmaggie Point Road.

Large plumes of smoke are visible through the region.

The Harrietville fire is burning in inaccessible countryside, the spokesman said, and aircraft were being used to control it.

The CFA advised that an area including the Great Alpine Road, Dargo High Plains Road, including Hotham Heights, Dinner Plain and the Wongungarra River, north of Dargo, was unsafe to enter, and anyone there should leave.

The Great Alpine Road is closed between Harrietville and Dinner Plain and the Dargo High Plains Road is closed between Dargo and Great Alpine Road.

Both fires were creating spot fires, where embers jump from the main fire and spark new blazes.

The spokesman said that although temperatures in the west of the state had dropped after a change in conditions, that change was not expected to reach the state’s east.

Fire crews will monitor the situation through the afternoon and night, he said.

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