CFA crews tackle fires near Maldon, Castlemaine, Harcourt, Echuca

UPDATE, 9pm: POLICE will investigate the cause of a fire at a historic reserve in Maldon.

Firefighters were called to Baxter Street in Maldon at 7.11pm.

CFA District 2 operations officer Greg Kinross said the property backed onto the reserve.

“Maldon units responded very quickly – within five minutes of the call,” he said.

Further units were called from Walmer, Baringhup West and Castlemaine.

Mr Kinross said the fire was quickly brought under control and contained to two hectares.

He said the fire was believed to be suspicious.

Castlemaine Sergeant Mick Peckham said police would be investigating and encouraged anyone with information to call the station on 5470 4100 or contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Firefighters responded to a number of reported fires in the Castlemaine area earlier in the evening.

More than 10 units turned out to tame an out-of-control burn-off at McKenzie Hill, near the intersection of Castlemaine-Maldon Road and the Pyrenees Highway.

The cause of another fire, near the train tracks at Muckleford, has yet to be determined.

Firefighters were also called to a fire in a paddock at at Gunns Lane in Sebastian, which Mr Kinross said was brought under control “very quickly.”

UPDATE, 6pm:  FIREFIGHTERS are responding to a number of reported fires in the Castlemaine area.

About 11 units are attending a fire in McKenzie Hill, near the intersection of Castlemaine-Maldon Road and the Pyrenees Highway.

Firefighters have been called to a second fire in Castlemaine, near where Muckleford-Castlemaine Road intersects with Boundary Road and Centre Track.

Units were earlier called to Sawmill Road. 

UPDATE, 5pm: AN out-of-control burn has sparked a fire at a Harcourt property – one of a number of fires in the region in the past few hours.

Firefighters were called to an address in Langs Road, Harcourt, shortly after 3pm.

It took about an hour for firefighters to bring the fire under control.

The fire grew to more than two hectares in size.

At least nine CFA units attended.

“Crews are on scene mopping up,” a CFA spokeswoman said.

Earlier in the afternoon, advice was issued for people in the vicinity of Echuca West, where a grass fire had spread to a stack of hay bales.

Up to 60 bales caught alight, the CFA spokeswoman said.

About four trucks remain at the property, at the intersection of Echuca- Mitiamo Road and Wharparilla Road.

However, the fire is under control. 

EARLIER: SMOKE might be visible near Echuca West, the Country Fire Authority has advised, following a grassfire.

Firefighters were called to the intersection of Echuca- Mitiamo Road and Wharparilla Road just after 3pm today.

They remain at the scene, where a grassfire has been brought under control.

“Hay bales involved in the fire are likely to burn for the next three hours,” the CFA has advised.

“Smoke will be visible from nearby communities and roads.”

The CFA said there was no threat to communities, but people should continue to stay informed and monitor conditions.

Firefighters have asked that people keep the roads clear so emergency services can respond.

Health information: 

  • If you need medical advice for burns or exposure to smoke, seek medical advice or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.
  • Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call 000.

Smoke information: 

  • Smoke can affect people's health.
  • People with heart or lung conditions (including asthma), children, pregnant women and older people are more sensitive to the effects of breathing in smoke.
  • People with existing heart or lung conditions (including asthma) should follow the treatment plan advised by the doctor.