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Blaze puts Grantville on alert

WITH the 10th anniversary of Black Saturday looming and those terrible memories flooding back, the raging fires around Grantville struck fear into local residents on the weekend.

Grantville blaze: fires raged around the Grantville district on the weekend and forced the closure of the Bass Highway for most of the weekend.

The local fire crews and emergency services worked around the clock to ensure the safety of the local communities around Grantville, including residents of the Adams Estate, Almurta, Corinella, Coronet Bay, Glen Forbes, Grantville, Queensferry and Tenby Point impacted by the raging fires that ignited last Friday, February 1 around 12.20pm, south of June Street, Glen Forbes in the Grantville Conservation Nature Reserve, according to CFA incident controller Paul Carrigg.

Mr Carrigg reported to The Star on Monday that the fire is now contained and as at 10.10am, there are more than 60 firefighters, 25 trucks, four dozers and four aircraft still working on the fire.

He added that no injuries from the fires were sustained by residents but that some CFA members experienced heat stress and received first aid on scene and were released soon after.

He said no homes in the area were burnt but there was a bit of fence damage.

Cooler and more humid conditions on Monday in the Grantville area have brought relief for crews who battled the intensely hot and threatening weekend blaze.

As of Monday morning, a watch and act and advice message remained in place for Glen Forbes, the Adams Estate, Almurta and Grantville, and residents are advised to continue to monitor conditions and check the VicEmergency app and website.

Mr Carrigg reported at this stage the blaze that impacted the Grantville coastal gum communities on the weekend is thought to have been ignited by a lightning strike from the storm the previous day, but added that investigations are ongoing. Firefighters were unable to stop it due to inaccessible bushland.

On Friday the fire was reported to be about 300 metres south-west of the Adams Estate and moved quite quickly towards that estate due to the very dry conditions, flammable bushland and strong winds.

About 10 aircraft battled the blaze and worked to suppress the spread of fire including aircrane Lucille, back from NSW. Lucille was put to work straight away on Friday evening on the Grantville blaze. Lucille is one of two aircranes that form part of Victoria’s 49 contracted aircraft. Mr Carrigg reported that the fire bombers have been involved since the commencement of the fire on Friday and were working up until Sunday night.

Joining the fight on the Grantville fires were the hard working members of the Kernot Grantville Fire Brigade that was thanked by hundreds throughout the weekend via social media.

Another big thank you to the firefighters came from the local Grantville General Store that turned on free coffee for emergency services crews on the weekend.

Their message on Facebook, “We locals so appreciate you special people who generously give your time and effort for our community.”

The local firefighters from all the CFA brigades in the Bass Coast including Kernot Grantville, San Remo, Phillip Island, Corinella, Inverloch, Bass, Wonthaggi to name but a few and emergency crews were joined by 300 more volunteers from other brigades on the weekend including three Newhaven College students working for local CFA brigades.

Also assisting  were local Forest Fire Management Crews and  CFA brigades from Cardinia, Casey, and Mornington Peninsula area were also called in and the MFB also provided a pumper strike team for protection of homes.

Fire crews worked around the clock from Friday trying to contain the fire once it left the Grantville reserve.

Authorities warned the bushfire was travelling in a westerly direction towards Tenby Point and posed a threat to the Adams Estate, which is in the Bass Coast region near Phillip Island.

This estate was closed to returning residents on Friday afternoon, with locals told to head to the Grantville Information Centre on the Bass Highway.

Earlier in the day residents in the Adams Estate were told to evacuate before conditions became too dangerous and emergency warnings were issued for the nearby towns of Almurta, Glen Forbes and Grantville about 3pm. This was downgraded to a watch and act warning shortly after 9.30pm on Friday.

Traffic coming from Melbourne back to the Grantville, Phillip Island, Wonthaggi and Inverloch on Friday night faced road blocks on the Bass Highway, most diverted through the backroads.

The warnings to motorists on these narrow poorly lit backroads was to be aware of wildlife crossing the road and for emergency vehicles.

One Melbourne resident said he and his fiance were directed up towards Glen Alvie and commented that it was quite scary as they could see the flames close by.

As of Monday, the Dalyston-Glen Forbes Road remained closed but was expected to be open during the day. The Bass Highway was open on Monday with speed restrictions in place.

During the weekend a Community Relief Centre was been established at the San Remo Recreation Centre and public meetings were held in Grantville to keep the local communities informed.

As well as the emergency crews working around the clock on the weekend, local wildlife carers were also bracing for a big weekend.

The message by Phillip Island Wildlife Rescue following the Grantville fires is if you see an animal that is badly injured, call 1300 094535 or the police can also help to end any suffering.

There are wildlife carers located in Grantville and other carers and rescuers are on standby to assist with collection, transport and euthanasia.

Taking a well earned breather on Monday morning, the Kernot Grantville CFA took a moment to post a huge thanks to all who assisted with the Grantville and districts fires.

They thanked all assisting CFA volunteers from far and wide, the Forest Fire Management Victoria teams, Melbourne Metropolitan Fire Brigade strike team, Victoria State Emergency Service, Ambulance Victoria and Victoria Police , Bass Coast Shire, VicRoads, wildlife carers and the Rapid Relief Team AU for the fantastic food, coffee and icy poles.

Danger zone: the fire approaches Bass Highway at Grantville.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=27420

Posted by on Feb 5 2019. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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