Haven school, hall, general store saved

FIRE crews have saved the Haven school, hall and general store from a major fire which burned to within metres of the structures.

But Horsham Golf Club and seven homes have been lost to a fire that has burned around the outskirts of the city.

The Remlaw Fire, burning west of Horsham, has burned an area of more than 5500 hectares.

Firefighters have reported that the fire has jumped the Western Highway and is currently impacting the Drung Drung South area. Communities within the Dooen, Riverside and Longerenong areas can expect to see increased fire activity over the next two hours and are urged to implement their bushfire survival action plan.

Firefighters are working hard to hold the head of the fire on the Laharum Road between Mackies Road and Reynolds Road.

Incident control centre spokesman Graham Parkes told ABC radio that fire crews had mangaed to halt the fire along Lubeck Road and were now attacking the flanks of the fire.

He said the fire south of Horsham was also looking much better but areas around Burnt Creek were still causing concern.

Mr Parkes said people should remain on alert about the fire despite the improvement in conditions.

He said two fire bombers grounded at Horsham Aerodrome because of extreme weather conditions would hopefully get back into the air around 6.40pm.

Earlier reports were that several sheds had been lost.

A Dimboola Fire Brigade vehicle has also destroyed but the crew escaped unhurt and has returned to the fire line.

There are 54 CFA tankers and 35 DSE units and more than 300 CFA and DSE personnel working on the fire.

Water bombers are operating out of Horsham Airport and bulldozers are working on containment lines.

The fire started in Remlaw Road, Vectis, about 11am this morning.

Fire controllers are reporting a strong westerly wind change has hit the fire area.

Road closures that are currently in place are: Western Highway (between Dadswells Bridge and Horsham), Henty Highway north of Wonwondah, Golf Course Road (closed at intersection of Henty Highway), Horsham Noradjuha Road (closed at Lower Norton to the Wimmera Highway), the Wimmera Highway (between Horsham and Noradjuha Road), Williams Road east of Camerons Road and Laharum Road.

The fire believed to have started by powerlines.

Red Cross is setting up a food centre at the Grains Innovation Park to feed fire crews.

Horsham Town Hall has been opened as an emergency relief centre.

Large areas west of Horsham are without power.

More than 30 CFA tankers are believed to be heading to Horsham from Sunraysia to help with the fire fight.

If you have fires or a story to tell about the fire, send them to newsdesk@mailtimes.com.au

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