Narrawong fire contained but some roads still closed

A FIRE which threatened homes in the Mount Clay/Narrawong area was eventually contained late Wednesday afternoon.

The fire, which threatened Narrawong early Tuesday morning and burnt out 1600 hectares, is believed to have been started by a Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) burn-off.

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DEPI incident controller Trevor Dess said the fire had a 26-kilometre perimeter and Country Fire Authority and DEPI firefighters had worked hard to contain the blaze.

He said there had been damage caused to boundary fencing but there were no reports of houses damaged or people injured.

Mr Dess said weather conditions for the rest of the week were expected to be much cooler and favourable for keeping the fire contained. 

The Narrawong Primary School has reopened and the Mount Clay Road school is also operating again.

A number of roads remain closed due to the risk of falling branches and trees damaged by the fire including Golf Course Road east of the Heywood Golf Course, Mount Clay Road and Woolwash Road intersection, Rifle Range Road, Mount Clay Road and Tower Road intersection and Boyers Road north of the Goodes Road intersection.

“We ask that the community heed these closures to protect themselves from injury,” Mr Dess said.

“Residents may experience branch and tree falls and should be vigilant to protect themselves from injury.” 

Sawpit camping area sustained minor fire damage, along with some trees in the camping area.

“Trees damaged by the fire along walking tracks pose significant risk and the area will remain closed until DEPI is satisfied that the area is safe for visitors,” Mr Dess said.

A planned burn near Forrest in the Otways also broke containment lines on Tuesday, burning 34 hectares of forest.

DEPI land and fire regional manager Andrew Morrow said no communities were threatened.

“Victoria’s weather is the biggest challenge for the planned burning program,” Mr Morrow said. 

“Last week provided good conditions for DEPI and Parks Victoria to do vital planned burning to reduce fuel loads on public land.

“With careful planning, preparation and management led by experienced staff, few burns cause problems, but planned burning will always have risks. 

“A thorough review of why this incident occurred will be conducted as standard practice.”

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