Grampians fire hits popular tourist attractions

A NUMBER of popular and historic tourist attractions have received substantial damage in the Grampians bushfire.

Parks Victoria ranger David Roberts said the fire had burnt ferociously through Zumsteins, but spared parts of the new picnic ground which celebrated its 100th anniversary in September last year.

"The fire was pretty intense. We have sustained damage to a number of the heritage cottages and some of the heritage trees," he said.

"But a lot of the flood recovery work looks like it has escaped relatively unscathed."

Damage was vast at Mackenzie Falls.

"We've got an initial estimate that 80 per cent of that site is damaged," Mr Roberts said.

"The kiosk, the residence up there has burnt down and walking tracks and infrastructure have also been damaged."

He said insurance representatives would be given access to fire-affected areas in coming weeks to tally the damage.

Latest Department of Environment and Primary Industries figures show 32 houses and 90 sheds and other structures have been destroyed, 3000 sheep have died with 950 missing and 270 that might require further reassessment because of injuries.

Telstra is fixing 13 power poles damaged or destroyed at Wartook and Laharum.

Department spokesman Chris Carey said although fire activity had subsided, this week would bring dangerous conditions.

* Member for Mallee Andrew Broad will visit Horsham tomorrow to inspect fire-affected areas. Mr Broad also announced on Friday that work on a new rest area west of Dadswells Bridge would start this week.

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