Tuesday , January 26 2021

Fires in Victoria: Emergency warnings Walhalla, Cowwar as bushfires rage in Timbarra, Grantville and Hepburn

From reporter Tamsin Rose:

Emergency services continue to battle the Hepburn blaze with waterbombing, as Forest Fire Management Victoria Jon Rofe says "we're not out of the woods yet".

"Where the fire is located, with the southwest wind change imminent, the real risk now we believe lies to the east of the fire, particularly to the northeast," he said.

"Residents need to remain vigilant, be aware of the weather conditions."

At a community meeting at the Daylesford Town on Sunday night, Mr Rofe said crews were being pushed to their limit across the state.

"We had a lightning band go through on Wednesday," he said.

"It's causing similar issues in Gippsland, as it is up here.

"The agencies are fairly stretched resource-wise."

Residents around the Hepburn area have been warned not to drink tank water because it may have been contaminated by fire retardant foam, bombing activities and ash in the air.

"If you have a private water supply, it is possible it was contaminated by water bombing," a DHHS spokeswoman said.

"If you are on tank water, please use bottled water until your tanks have been checked."

At least six schools will not open in the Hepburn Daylesford area tomorrow.

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