Fire skirts parliamentarian again

FIRE LINE: Cathy McGowan speaks to volunteers at the fire meeting last month.

CATHY McGowan (MHR, Indi) again had a brush with bushfire yesterday when the Country Fire Authority issued an emergency warning for Leneva west of Beechworth-Wodonga Road.

At 4.31pm the CFA broadcast an alert about a fast-moving, uncontrolled grassfire running north east from Brewers Road, which leaves Beechworth-Wodonga Road just north of Indigo Creek Road and the south-easterly turn-off to Yackandandah.

It was within a kilometre of Ms McGowan’s Indigo Valley hilltop farm.

The fire was brought under control within four hours and the CFA downgraded the alert level to ‘advice’ at 8.41 last night (January 12).

There is speculation that the blaze grew from a remnant of the Barnwartha-Indigo Creek December 20 bushfire.

Ms McGowan and her extended family live towards the south-eastern end of the valley and some were affected by the Christmas week fire.

That fire skirted the western side of Ms McGowan’s farm.

The parliamentarian said that yesterday’s fire broke out in rough country that had once been cleared but was now largely inaccessible.

“The CFA was right on to it but we’re on super-high alert today.”

Temperatures reached beyond 40 degrees in parts of the North East today.

The CFA declared a total fire ban for Victoria – excluding East Gippsland – late yesterday.

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