Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

CFA hopeful of containing Boho blaze

Violet Town residents are feeling a lot more relaxed as firefighters are hopeful of containing the Boho fire later today.

DARREN LINTON January 30, 2013 4:10am

The fire near Violet Town has burned about 1300 ha of land.

Gallery: See more photos from the fire here.

Despite wind gusts of 75km/h being recorded in the hills around Violet Town, firefighters are optimistic the Boho fire will be contained and under control by as early as tonight.

A portable weather station recorded the strong localised winds in the early hours of yesterday morning, but when residents gathered in Violet Town at 11am there was only good news.

Fire crews who stood watch over the fire throughout the night managed to keep it within the established boundaries while making good progress on extending containment lines.

‘‘So far we’ve held the line in all locations,’’ CFA Deputy Incident Controller Paul Blythman told a far more relaxed gathering at the community centre, adding that the fire could well be contained earlier than tomorrow.

‘‘Everything is working in our favour so far with the wind.’’

On Boho Rd thick columns of white smoke rose in the air by late morning, but it was a co-ordinated back burn to add to the safe margin around the still active fire.

Rows of CFA tankers sat below the tree line ready to jump on the fire if it threatened to escape.

Mr Blythman told residents the wind would remain a major factor as crews work through the valleys and gullies where the fire had demonstrated abnormal behaviour.

While about 220 firefighters were yesterday continuing the work of containing the fire and making it safe Mr Blythman said the danger would remain for some time yet.

‘‘We don’t think this fire will be completely safe until we get substantial rain,’’ he said.

‘‘You will see smoke, you will see sparks at night.’’

Residents within a 20km radius of the fire have been urged to review their fire plans and ensure they have done as much as possible to make their homes safe.

Mr Blythman said the CFA was planning for worst case scenarios including what might need to be done within a large radius of the fire in the event of catastrophic fire conditions.

‘‘We are looking at how we can treat some of those areas, in the worst case scenario day do we put retardant on it,’’ he said.

‘‘We are looking out to the next few weeks.’’

The biggest problem for the CFA is the inaccessibility of much of the area around the fire which would give it a chance to get going again if it broke containment lines.

For more coverage on the fire, grab a copy of today’s News.

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