Grampians fires: communities urged to evacuate

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POLICE and SES are door knocking homes in Halls Gap, Pomonal, Bellfield, Lake Fyans and Lake Lonsdale after residents were told to evacuate.

There was a community meeting at the Halls Gap Recreation Centre on Friday morning where residents were told a wind change expected in the next three to five hours would turn the fire in the direction of the township.

People have been told to leave by no later than 3pm as after that time it will become unsafe to do so.

The Halls Gap Recreation centre was packed with concerned residents weighing up the decision of whether to evacuate or stay and defend.

Businesses in the area have been closed and caravan parks evacuated as a golden glow hands over the tourist hamlet.

Incident Control Centre media officer Tania Barnes has urged people to evacuate now.

"What we are trying to get through to people is that these aren't the same weather conditions as the Mt Lubra fire," she said.

"Just because people were okay then, doesn't mean they will be okay now.

"We are asking people to treat this as an individual event because it is different, the conditions are different.”

Relief centres have been set up at the Stawell Leisure Complex in Houston Street Stawell and Horsham Senior Citizens Centre, Roberts Ave, Horsham.

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