Grampians fires: Denis Napthine commends Wimmera emergency services

VICTORIAN Premier Denis Napthine has commended emergency services for the way they have managed the Grampians fire.

Dr Napthine visited the Horsham Incident Control Centre on Saturday morning.

The Grampians fire has burnt more than 51,000 hectares, while a large bushfire north of Yaapeet is being controlled.

Dr Napthine said emergency services had faced horrific and challenging conditions.

"Tragically a life has been lost and there has also been a number of properties lost and we understand about 7500 sheep affected," he said.

"This is a stark reminder to all Victorians that we do live in a fire-prone part of the world.

"The Grampians fire is still going and there are 35 fires still active across Victoria, including a significant fire in the Mallee.

"I commend Victorians for the way they have responded to challenges of this week."

Click the image for Grampians and Wimmera fire pictures

Dr Napthine said relief centres were still operating and officers at the centres could help people apply for grants.

"We are also working with councils to support them in terms of clean-up," he said.

"My message today is thank you to all Victorians, particularly to the CFA and other emergency services.

"The changes that have been made following Black Saturday has meant that the way these extreme conditions have been dealt with has significantly improved and delivered significantly better outcomes than we had in 2009."

When asked how the State Government would help tourist providers in the aftermath, Dr Napthine said the government would stand 'shoulder to shoulder' with communities.

"We understand tourism is vital for Halls Gap, Zumsteins and the Grampians and we will be working with tourism operators to boost tourism in this area and to promote Halls Gap and the Grampians," he said.

"It is a magnificent natural environment.

"We will be working closely with councils to rebuild those communities and help people to rebuild their lives."

Dr Napthine will travel to Brimpaen to meet with Horsham Rural City Mayor David Grimble on Saturday afternoon.

He will then visit the Stawell staging ground at the North Park Leisure Centre at 2.10pm.

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