Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville visited Gellibrand today (5 Februrary 2016) to personally acknowledge the extraordinary effort and dedication shown by those who fought the Wye River-Jamieson Track fire.
Minister Neville was hosting a thank you barbeque at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Gellibrand Depot to recognise those who contributed to the firefighting effort.
The Wye River-Jamieson Track fire was caused by lightning strikes on the 19 December and burnt for 34 days before being contained on 21 January 2016. The bushfires burned more than 2,515 hectares of land and destroyed 116 homes.
The nature and location of the Wye River-Jamieson Track fire required the use of specialist firefighters, aircraft and targeted burning to secure a safer, more accessible fire edge. Fire agencies faced an extremely difficult situation, confronted with steep, densely forested and dry terrain.
The firefighting effort was a collaborative effort between DELWP, Parks Victoria, Emergency Management Victoria, Country Fire Authority, Colac Otway, Surfcoast and Corangamite shire councils, the Environment Protection Authority, and a range of agencies with emergency management roles.
The Minister for Environment, Climate Change and Water Lisa Neville said: “Many of our specialist forest firefighters spent days fighting this fire in incredibly difficult terrain.”
“During the Christmas period these firefighters the green overalls were seen all through the local community and we can’t thank them enough for their hard work.”
The Minister for Emergency Services Jane Garrett said: “Firefighters did an outstanding job in very challenging conditions to contain this blaze.”
“The fact that not one life was lost is a testament to the efforts of our emergency services.”
Source: A state government media release