Praise for fire response

Nationals Member for Western Victoria Region, David O'Brien has recognised and thanked Victoria's emergency services personnel in the Grampians region for their efforts in responding to the 2013-14 fires.

Fire crews have been praised for their work during the Grampians and Black Range bushfires.

Fire crews have been praised for their work during the Grampians and Black Range bushfires.

Speaking at a thank-you barbecue in Halls Gap, Mr O'Brien said the Victorian Coalition Government was proud to support the vital work of emergency workers and volunteers who protect Victoria.

"The 2013-14 summer bushfires posed a serious challenge to regional Victoria, with the worst fire conditions since Black Saturday," Mr O'Brien said.

"Emergency services personnel as well as all the supporting departments and agencies here in the Grampians region demonstrated a magnificent degree of effort and commitment to keep our communities safe over summer, and we thank them for their efforts."

The family barbecue was one of several events held across Victoria to recognise emergency services personnel for their contribution to the community.

During the 2013-14 fire season there were major fires across the state including the Grampians, the Big Desert Wilderness Park, East Gippsland and at Morwell.

A total of 4,600 bush and grass fires burned more than 463,000 hectares of land across Victoria. Eighty residences were destroyed by fire across the state.

"The emergency management response to the fires this season was the most co-ordinated approach we have seen, using an all-hazards, all-agencies response," Mr O'Brien said.

"The Grampians experienced some of the most significant fires of the summer.

"The Grampians Northern Complex fire burnt 55,100 hectares and went for 62 days causing the loss of 32 residences and more than 4,000 head of stock.

"It was a devastating fire, and I recognise and thank everyone involved in the response. You all did a terrific job in difficult circumstances."

Mr O'Brien said firefighters and people from supporting agencies from the Grampians region also travelled to other regions to provide support, including Morwell to assist with the Hazelwood mine fire.

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