Stawell waits on Black Range fire

Smoke rises from the Black Range fire near Stawell last Friday. Picture: BEN KIMBER.
Smoke rises from the Black Range fire near Stawell last Friday. Picture: BEN KIMBER.

An uneasy calm lingers in Stawell as the focus of last week's bushfire emergency turns closer to home.

The Black Range - Bunjils Cave Road fire which has so far scorched 1395 hectares, remains the biggest concern for firefighters, with afternoon wind changes consistently reigniting worries.

The fire became more active on Saturday, and again on Sunday night around Bullocky Mary Road and Ganawarra Road. It is located in granite boulder terrain, which has made it difficult for firefighters to access.

“Crews have made great progress here in building control lines and earth breaks. We estimate this fire is about 70 per cent tracked, however, there is still some work to do before we can contain this fire as it is located in some difficult terrain,” Incident Controller Mark Gunning said.

The focus of firefighters has been a direct attack of the northern part of the fire and consolidating containment lines to provide protection to the township of Stawell.

In recent nights crews have completed a control line from Bunjils Cave Road to Burrong Basin Road. They have also built a containment line around the speedway complex.

Yesterday, a control line was worked on from Burrong Basin Road to Monaghan Road. On the western side of the fire an earth break was built from Brown Lane, up north to Monaghan Road.

Following the fire's edge, crews will then work on containment lines from Osler Road to Bunjils Cave Road and from Brown Lane to Panrock Reservoir Road.

A number of roads around the fire remain closed. 

These include: Bullochy Mary Road, Gunawarra Road, Bunjils Cave Road between Pomonal Road/Ganawarra Road and Glue Pot Road, Browns Lane, Horwood Road west of Carlsens Road, Monaghan Road west of Carlsens Road.

Visit for the latest information on road closures.

"While fire activity is subsiding, residents should not become complacent. As with any fire, the situation can change at any time and as summer is still upon us, we could still see some dangerous fire weather," Horsham Incident Control Centre media spokesperson Jenny McGennisken said.

A Recovery Centre is operating from Grampians Community Health, 8 Patrick Street, from 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday.

This story Stawell waits on Black Range fire first appeared on The Stawell Times-News.