Scrub fire closes Great Ocean Road as CFA crews avert threat to houses near Peterborough

FIRE crews will closely monitor a small scrub fire that burnt through coastal vegetation near Peterborough yesterday, mindful of severe conditions likely today. 

Crews worked to extinguish the fire before forecast high temperatures and strong winds today.

 A total fire ban applies in seven of Victoria’s nine forecast districts, including the south-west.

No fires can be lit in the open between 12.01am and 11.59pm and people living in areas at risk of fire have been advised to activate their bushfire prevention plans. 

Yesterday’s fire was about three hectares. It started in the Bay of Islands car park just before 1pm and quickly spread into scrub, heading towards the Great Ocean Road. 

A watch and act notice was issued at 1.50pm, with nearby residents urged to leave the area. 

The Great Ocean Road was closed between the western end of the Peterborough township and the T-junction with the Old Peterborough Road. 

The threat message was downgraded to an advice notice at 4.30pm yesterday, with the fire listed as being under control at 5.30pm. 

The Great Ocean Road remained closed until late last night as crews mopped up. The cause of the fire is unknown. 

Country Fire Authority (CFA) crews from Peterborough, Hopkins-Curdies, Nirranda South, Port Campbell, Lower Heytesbury and Nullawarre were called to fight the blaze, along with staff from the Department of Environment and Primary Industries. 

First lieutenant Bill Richmond, from the Peterborough CFA, said the fire threatened two houses surrounded by bushland but a quick response from local crews helped save them from the fast-moving flames. 

“We were able to get down a track and do some asset protection at two homes that were surrounded by bushland,” he said. 

“The light tankers we have here allowed us to get into the scrub and try and suppress the fire and protect the properties.

“We had a full turnout and we were ready.” 

He said crews would work into the night and monitor the area today to ensure there were no flare-ups. 

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