INFERNO WARNING: CFA

BENDIGO should prepare for future infernos after bushfire proved there are no boundaries and entered our city, the CFA has warned.As firefighters are left shaking their heads, residents have been reminded it could happen again.CFA operations manager John Deering yesterday said no one had experienced the circumstances of Black Saturday before.One man was killed, and 61 homes and 122 sheds were razed across Bendigo’s western suburbs when fire unleashed hell on the city.The fire started on the roadside at Bracewell Street in Maiden Gully, and raced over Specimen Hill to Bendigo West in 26 minutes.A wind change then created every firefighter’s worst nightmare when it turned the path of the fire and extended the front to 4km.“We’re trying to get our heads around what happened at Bracewell Street,’’ Mr Deering said.“I don’t think anyone has ever seen the circumstances that occurred on this day.“We need to consider the future of major provincial cities such as Bendigo.’’ Mr Deering said it was clear a major fire could happen again. “We could have our Canberra – we’ve had a mini Canberra. We need to think about what we can do to prevent it.”It was timely to acknowledge the Department of Sustainability and Environment for reducing fuel. DSE often came under attack for fuel reduction burns, but recent efforts in the Long Gully and Maiden Gully areas had paid big dividends.“That burning saved houses.”

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