Elphinstone blaze threatens houses

CFA Elphinstone captain Andy Chapman has praised the work of firefighters who tackled a fast-moving blaze that threatened two properties on Saturday evening.

Elphinstone and Taradale CFA crews and a helitanker took one hour and 15 minutes to control the five-hectare scrub, grass and bushfire, which started near Buntins Road on the outskirts of Elphinstone at 6pm.

Residents of one house near the point of origin evacuated, while the occupants of another threatened house stayed.

Mr Chapman said police were still investigating the cause of the fire but it was not suspicious.

He said crews worked hard to contain the fast-moving fire, which was running uphill and surrounded by lots of fuel.

“Elphinstone crews were first on the scene and they did an excellent job in saving the houses at the point of origin.

“The fire was just starting to make a run. There were lots of stringybark timber and it was going uphill. 

“It made it difficult for firefighters. Excellent work was done under a lot of pressure.”

Mr Chapman said crews were well-prepared and had a contingency plan if the fire moved closer to the town centre. “This (fire) had a lot of potential. We got a lot of equipment out early so if it did make a run we’d pull it up Cemetery Road.”

He said it was a busy time for firefighters around the region due the dryness of the land.

“We seem to be having quite a lot of fires starting to run very well at late times of day, which is really indicative of the dryness that we’re facing right now.”

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