CFA to secure and monitor Stonyford fire site across weekend

THE CFA will work across the weekend to monitor the contained Stonyford fire sites amid days of Total Fire Bans.

RELATED: Total Fire Ban across Victoria this weekend 

A warning was announced this afternoon after fire activity increased, with aircraft working in the area and increased smoke levels expected.

There were about 60 firefighters on the scene when Cobden-Stonyford Road was closed from Ansons Road to Scoullers Road, for about two hours this afternoon.

Incident controller David Rourke said due to the stony terrain there were still small pockets of active fire and crews were strengthening established containment lines. 

  "We've got CFA crews out there working on strengthening those control lines and they are now dealing with some internal fire within the burn, so we're monitoring that," he said.

"The CFA tankers are manned by volunteers so I thank them for their support and putting their time forward.

"Obviously we will maintain firefighters on the site across the weekend, certainly ahead of the more significant weather tomorrow and Sunday, and particularly with the wind change on Sunday.

"The Total Fire Ban conditions have complicated the fire site further with areas of smouldering decayed vegetation which cannot be fully extinguished," he said. 

"There are no large areas of peat out there but there are areas of peat within the Stoney Rises so there will be some areas that continue to smoulder and burn for some time. 

"That's why we're concerned over the next 24 to 48 hours.

"Late this morning we had an infrared camera looking at the fire perimeter to identify hot spots where there might be burning embers that the crew needed to extinguish.

"The CFA has asked motorists in the area to be mindful of emergency vehicles on the road, as well as speed restrictions in place, with some motorists ignoring road closure signage.

Motorists are also advised to travel with headlights on.

j.pech@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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