Evacuation advice for Grampians towns

EVACUATION advice has been issued for people in the northern Grampians including those in Halls Gap to evacuate to Stawell because of a fast moving fire approaching from the west.

The CFA has urged people in Halls Gap, Pomonal, Bellfield, Lake Fyans and Lake Lonsdale areas to leave until 3pm and seek shelter at the relief centre at the Stawell Leisure Centre.

After 3pm it has recommended people stay in shelter.

A south west wind change expected to hit the south west within the next three to five hours is expected to significantly the risk of the 12,000 hectare Northern Grampians fire that is the result of the merger of a number of other smaller fires.

Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Richard Russell said a north-westerly wind today is expected to pick up to about 45 kilometres an hour before changing to a very gusty southerly wind.

The CFA issued the warning this morning for the towns of Wartook, 43 kilometres south-east of Horsham, Laharum, Heathvale and Brimpaen, 18km west of Wartook,.

The CFA has also issued a Watch and Act message for Halls Gap, Bellfield and Grampians Junction because of the Northern Grampians fire.

It said the bushfire was travelling fast in a south easterly direction from Zumsteins and could impact the Halls Gap, Grampians Junction and Bellfield areas between 1pm and 3pm today.

Spot fires and ember attacks have been reported several kilometres in front of the fire.

The fast moving, out of control bushfire in the Wartook Valley burnt areas overnight in Heathvale and Wartook near Flagstaff Track and Roses Gap Road.

An emergency warning has been issued for people in the Cherrypool, Glenisla, Glenisla Crossing advising them to leave because because of another fire 18 kilometres south west of Dadswells Bridge.

The CFA said the fire, dubbed the Northern Grampians fire, was 11,000 hectares in size.

The fire has closed the Henty Highway at Cavendish.

Fire activity throughout the Grampians has residents on alert this week.

Fire activity throughout the Grampians has residents on alert this week.

CFA chief officer Euan Ferguson said there were two confirmed property losses in the Grampians.

''We can confirm there have been two structural losses,'' he told the Nine Network.

''At this stage there is no loss of life or injury.

''Clearly the northern part of the Grampians will be under severe pressure for most of today," Mr Ferguson said.



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