FIRE crews from around the region continued working on board a livestock carrier at the Port of Portland on Wednesday.
CFA members were called to the Port about 8pm on Tuesday night and the fire was contained by 12.30am to an 800-tonne grain hopper.
District 4 Duty Officer Henry Barton said about 50 people would work on the incident throughout yesterday. He said crews were having difficulty completely putting out the fire in the hopper.
“Fire crews are still dealing with it,” he said.
“It’s 800-tonne of feed.
“There’s bits and pieces that are alight.
“We’re having a lot of difficulty extinguishing the fire in the 800-tonne feeder.
“There’s a lot of complexity in trying to extinguish it.
“Crews will work there today with the intention to contain the fire.” Fire crews were called to the incident after smoke was reported coming from a silo on the ship.
The ship was not carrying any stock.
Mr Barton said crews from Portland, Port Fairy, Warrnambool, Hamilton, Koroit, Ballarat and Geelong had worked hard on the blaze and worked throughout the night on the fire.
“The focus for firefighters today is to extinguish the fire by this afternoon,” he said.
“The hopper is the size of a three-storey building and it's continuing to smoulder.
“There was fire in the early hours of this morning with steam and smoke coming from the vessel.”
Mr Barton said firefighters did a fantastic job to protect a nearby 800-tonne hopper on the ship.“We had crews from Port Fairy, Warrnambool and Hamilton last night and we’ve had crews from Hamilton, Warrnambool, Koroit, Ballarat and Geelong,” he said.
He said the cause was being investigated but it was not being treated as suspicious. Mr Barton said the financial cost of the fire was yet to be calculated and there had been no threat to human life.
He said an emergency management team would meet later on Wednesday to discuss other options to extinguish the fire.
“We’ll get together and look at what else can be done, we’re open to options,” he said.
Meanwhile fire restrictions in Corangamite and Colac Otway Shires began on Monday until May 1.
Corangamite Manager Emergency and Environment Lyall Bond called on residents to prepare for the fire season.
“This should include cleaning up you property and using the free green waste disposal opportunities at Council transfer stations, landfill and kerbside collection services while also reviewing and practising your fire plan,” he said.
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