Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

All hands on deck to contain blaze near Seymour

Thirty-five Country Fire Authority crews and four firefighting aircrafts were used to battle a major grassfire south-east of Seymour.

SOPHIE MALCOLM December 10, 2012 4:57am

fThe aftermath of a grassfire near Seymour, which burned 1020 ha, including a blue-gum plantation.

More than 150 firefighters from across the state battled a grassfire near Seymour at the weekend.

The fire, which began about 10pm on Saturday, burnt 1020ha, including a blue-gum plantation at Whiteheads Creek, south-east of Seymour.

Country Fire Authority incident controller John Leben said firefighters contended with strong winds and difficult terrain to contain the blaze just after 4.30pm yesterday.

The fire was between Homewood Rd and Bottrils Lane, in an area Mr Leben said was ‘‘very steep’’ in some places.

Mr Leben said 35 crews, along with four firefighting aircraft, were involved in the effort.

‘‘Their effort last night was what allowed us to get it under control today,’’ Mr Leben said yesterday.

He said no homes were threatened, but an unknown number of sheep were killed and 50km of fencing, 250ha of pasture and 250ha of blue-gum plantation were destroyed.

CFA public information officer Paul Verbeek said the weekend’s weather impacted on the fire.

‘‘It’s been an unusual weekend; we had 37°C (on Saturday) and high winds and that cool change came through, and today it’s sort of mellowed out a bit,’’ Mr Verbeek said yesterday.

‘‘The winds are still around, but of course the relative humidity is up now and we’ve got a bit of moisture in the air, and the winds are starting ... to slighten a bit and the temperature of course is nowhere near what it was (on Saturday), so we’ve had an all-weekend all-weather event, pretty much.’’

Mr Leben urged nearby residents to monitor developments in the coming days.

‘‘People need to continue to be vigilant. There will be smoke in the area and there could be substantial smoke in some areas, due to the blue gum plantation,’’ he said.

Mr Leben said while the cause of the fire was unknown, there had been lightning in the area on Saturday.

He said fire investigators would continue to look into how the fire started.

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