CFA calls on support as lightning strikes

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THE Country Fire Authority has called for community support to help protect the region during an extreme fire danger on Friday.

Bendigo operations officer Craig Houlahan called on all residents to ring triple-0 as soon as they see fire.

“With high temperatures and high winds, it will be stretching our resources,’’ he said.

“If the public see a fire they should report it immediately to triple-0 as tomorrow, being the fourth day of a hot weather cycle, the immediate suppression will be difficult if we are not able to get onto the fire early.

‘’We need the community to assist us in this.’’

Mr Houlahan said a fire in the Lancefield area started by a lightning strike was the main concern on Thursday night.

It comes after a lightning strike caused a fire near Axe Creek - Patons Road at Axe Creek yesterday.

Axe Creek CFA captain Neil Dusting said the fire, which was about 0.6 hectares in size, was contained with aerial support from Bendigo.

More than 10 units helped contain the fire with 10 heavy tankers standing by but the fire was virtually contained by the time ground crews arrived.

"The helitack did its job beautifully and knocked the head out of the fire before we could work out how to get into it," he said.

Meanwhile a machinery shed at the Heathcote Ridge Vineyard has been destroyed after a fire threatened further property on Thursday. 

CFA operations officer Peter Lucas said 10 crews attended the structure fire at the Corop property about 11.30am. 

On arrival, fire crews believed a man was trapped inside the shed however he was soon found and even assisted with fighting the fire. 

"Luckily he was found shortly after so we could change our focus and work on stopping the fire spreading," Mr Lucas said.

The cause of the fire is being investigated; it is not being treated as suspicious. 

Mr Houlahan said fire crews would continue to work on firegrounds at Axe Creek and Harcourt North on Thursday night and Friday.

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