MORE than 400 firefighters are battling the Kentbruck blaze to protect communities north and east of the Glenelg River in the far south-west.
The fire that had yesterday afternoon burnt out 7050 hectares was moving in a northerly direction at a rate of 700 metres an hour on Monday, towards Drik Drik, Mumbannar, Winnap andDartmoor, and had slowed slightly, to about 500 metres an hour, yesterday.
The Country Fire Authority issued an alert to the Drik Drik community at 3.30pm Monday following a wind change, and the fire reached the south of the community within the hour.
Deputy incident controller Andy Cusack said roughly 100 firefighters in four strike teams defended 10 homes in the township with the help of heavy water bombing.
“The wind changed to the south-west and pushed the fire back on to the river impacting Drik Drik, but we managed to hold the fire and there was no physical impact to assets, homes or lives,” Mr Cusack said.
He said the wind change prevented the fire from moving further north towardsDartmoor.
“We were concerned about the fire in Keegans Bend (at the top of the Lower Glenelg National Park), as I live in Mumbannar it was of concern to me personally, but luckily that didn’t go through.”
The immediate threat to the Drik Drik community has subsided and theWinnap-Nelson Rdhas reopened, but residents still need to be alert Mr Cusack said.
The CFA, Department of Sustainability and Environment and Parks Victoria will continue to back burn for the next two days to protect communities to the east of the Cobboboonee State Forest.
Read more in Wednesday’s Portland Observer.