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Fire season turns around after heavy rain

Tuesday February 26, 2013 - 20:09 EDT
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A huge plume of smoke from the Grampians fire around Glenisla last week. - ABC

The Victorian Fire Services Commissioner, Craig Lapsley, says the heavy rainfall in central Victoria is a turning point in the long fire season.

Two major fires continue to burn in the Grampians and in the Alpine areas around Mt Hotham and Harrietville.

Rainfalls of up to 100 millimetres are forecast in the north-east of the state, which will dramatically change the conditions in the Harrietville fire.

Firefighters will be pulled off the blaze for safety reasons, as the ground becomes boggy and unstable.

"[It] will change the way firefighters operate significantly and it also means that we've got respite for crews, and also for our aircraft," Mr Lapsley said.

"It does change firefighting in Victoria significantly with this amount of rain that's either fallen or forecast."

Mr Lapsley is hopeful the Grampians fire will be contained by later this week.

However he says we still might not be out of the woods yet.

After hot, dry weather in January and February, the weather bureau is still predicting some warm days ahead in March.

"We shouldn't take our eye off the ball but I think today is a changing point in the fire season without a doubt," he said.

"The mild conditions are certainly welcomed and needed, but we just have to be a little bit careful about what March might bring."


© ABC 2013

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