Local firies join Beaufort battle

February 23, 2024 7:50 am in by
Image: Emergency Services App

Fire crews from Geelong and Wyndham have joined the battle to contain a 10,000 hectare bushfire raging between Ballarat and Beaufort in Victoria’s west.

Brigades including Grovedale, Winchelsea and Hoppers Crossing have dispatched trucks and firefighters to help tackle the blaze, joining more than 1000 volunteers already on the ground.

Two dozen aircraft, some of them borrowed from interstate, are attacking the flames from the air.

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A wind change late on Thursday night pushed the flames in a north-easterly direction, towards the town of Avoca.

The giant blaze has forced the total closure of the Western Highway between Ballarat and Ararat.

Residents in more than 30 communities in the fire’s path have been ordered to leave, with two emergency warnings in place as of 10am on Friday.

Evacuations have taken place in towns including Beaufort, Trawalla, Glenbrae, Lexton, Amphitheatre, Landsborough and Percydale.

Grovedale CFA sent a tanker and a pumper to help out, while Winchelsea drew members from other local brigades to form a strike team.

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Crews from Hoppers Crossing sent the Mount Cottrell Field Operations Vehicle (FOV) to Ballarat to assist.

Other CFA stations and Fire Rescue Victoria will provide cover for local crews and trucks deployed to the Beaufort fire.

Premier Jacinta Allen said Victorians are sending their best wishes to people affected by the blaze.

“I want to extend my thoughts, and the thoughts of the broader Victorian community, to those individuals and families and the farming communities who have evacuated,” Ms Allen said.