Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's bad...


One home lost as residents flee

ONE house has been lost and several other buildings gutted as bushfires tore through the beachside hamlet of Four Mile Creek this afternoon.

Residents were forced to flee to the beach about 3pm after what some described as "a fireball" jumped containment lines and raced towards the sea.

Others were stopped at police roadblocks north and south of the village as massive gusts of smoke blackened the air above their homes.

Smoke was so thick drivers could not see their own car bonnets, while the energy draw of the massive firestorm turned the wind into a roaring force.

Those who had planned to stay and defend their homes were advised to stick to their plans, but those who wanted to leave were advised to head for the beach.

"When the fire hit Four Mile Creek it came in a rush and it was too late for people to get out by road," said Mr Reid.

Earlier the fire went through the nearby town of Cornwall. Fire rushed the village just after 1pm after a predicted westerly wind change took hold.

An ABC reporter in Cornwall said firefighters had managed to save three or four homes in the path of "a great wall of fire''.

"They just stood in the flames with hoses and not a lot more,'' she said.

I've said it before and I'll repeat it - these men & women are heroes.

The east coast bushfire has burnt through 14,200 hectares since Sunday and exhausted firefighters are struggling to contain the 80-kilometre perimeter.


It's just like Armageddon

Horror fire conditions have seen fires rage out of control this afternoon, jumping containment lines and launching ember attacks at populated areas.

URGENT THREAT: Fernbank, Glenaladale, Kevington, Gaffneys Creek, A1 Mine and Woods Point. Jamieson district, including Burns Bridge.

ON ALERT: North East: Howqua River Road area, Mount Beauty and Bogong townships. Gippsland: Glencairn, areas north of Valencia Creek and east to Culloden, Castleburn, Dargo, Briagolong and Crooked River.

NEWS UPDATE: Houses threatened and two schools evacuated at Drysdale, near Geelong.

CFA deputy chief officer Graham Fountain told The Age:

"The fires have jumped containment lines, they've spotted, there's been ember attacks in a number of areas. There is a risk of that (buildings being lost), these are populated areas.''

Towns under threat:

Residents in Fernbank, Glenaladale, Kevington, Licola, Gaffney's Creek and A1 Mine have been issued with urgent threat messages, while those in Merrijig , Mt Buller, Sawmill Settlement and Woods Point are being urged to remain alert.

The towns of Dargo, Crooked River, Castleburn, Waterford and Cobbannah that may come under threat as winds shift north to north-easterly.

Glenmaggie, Valencia Creek, Briagalong and Heyfield are advised to remain on high alert with the expected northerly wind change.

New South Wales:

Major fire breaks containment

A MAJOR bushfire has broken containment lines overnight and is threatening properties in rugged high country near Tumut in southern NSW.

Authorities say the blaze burning out of control in the Bondo pine plantation, is igniting spot fires ahead of its front. The fire has burnt out about 13,000ha of pine plantation.

The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has advised people in Argalong and the Upper Goobragandra River Valley to prepare for ember attacks.

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