Ballarat crews join the fight in the Grampians

BALLARAT fire crews are doing their best to help with the fire emergency in the Grampians. 

Ballarat region operations officer with the Department of Environment and Primary Industries Murray Fullerton said the region already had around 22 people in the Grampians helping with the blaze.

He said a further eight people were leaving tomorrow, with even more coming from Daylesford and Beaufort. 

“The fires have already burnt a lot of farmland. The forest will regenerate and a lot of assets have been threatened,” he said. 

“We just need people to be smart about what they are doing and think about what they are doing. That little campfire can develop into something. 

“Be vigilant, be smart and keep yourself informed and listen to what the authorities have to say.” 

The most important thing for residents was to make sure they were informed, Mr Fullerton said. 

"Be vigilant, be smart and keep yourself informed and listen to the authorities."

“Stay turned to the ABC radio and the CFA and DEPI websites. There is information on there. 

“It is the same as anywhere –  it is about where the fires start and how accessible they are. 

“Wednesday night is a good example. It took us two hours before we could get any resources to the fire at Mount Beckworth. 

“We had to find it first and then we had to find a way up there and then we had a 45-minute turnaround to get more water. That was a 24-hour shift basically.” 

CFA Senior Station Officer Shane Phillips said Ballarat crews had sent four tankers and a command vehicle to the Grampians at 4.30am yesterday. 

Mr Phillips also echoed Mr Fullerton’s calls for people to stay as informed as possible during the dangerous period. 

“Listen to the radio, and pay attention to the watch and acts and the emergency warnings. That is really important,” he said. 

“Some of the people are in real danger and they need to make informed decision with all the right information.”

Mr Phillips said an MFB strike team was also stationed in Ballarat before being sent off to the fires in the Grampians yesterday.