Halls Gap again put on high alert

HALLS GAP - The community of Halls Gap was advised to leave this week as hot weather combined with high winds made for dangerous fire conditions.

Parks Victoria District Manager Graham Parkes said he was encouraged by residents preparedness to attend the community meeting and by their approach to the advice given.

He said about 130 people attended the meeting where they were advised to leave for the day.

"Locals and visitors were advised of the implications of the weather conditions and looking at the fire weather for that day it was the best course of action for them to leave," he said.

Mr Parkes said it was highly likely another meeting would be held with high temperatures again forecast today and over the weekend.

"We are always reviewing the progress of our crews as they work to black out hot spots," he said.

"We will continue to provide the local community with advice as the weather conditions change."

The Grampians Northern Complex fire has burnt more than 55,000 hectares, destroyed 32 homes and continues to be active behind containment lines.

At its peak the huge fire caused a 12-kilometre convection column that created thunderstorms and lightning.

A large contingent of firefighters have remained at the Grampians bushfire due to the hot weather being experienced.

Fire crews managed to keep the blaze within containment lines Tuesday, despite a late wind change and temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius.

The CFA's Graeme Baxter said they were prepared for more hot weather today and over the weekend.

"We've had around about 240 personnel out there, 11 tankers, 7 dozers and a round about 9 aircraft," he said.

"We'll continue to rotate those crews, using that same equipment to make sure we've got this fire fully taken care of."

Incident Controller Russell Manning said residents should remain vigilant.

"People need to be aware that while this fire is contained, there is still active fire within the fire perimeter," he said.

"It is your responsibility to know when to leave, so stay aware of your surroundings, check for smoke and listen for warnings."

Current information is available online at www.depi.vic.gov.au or www.cfa.vic.gov.au.

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