EMERGENCY services were kept busy on Saturday as wild weather moved across the region.
As the mercury rose to above 30 degrees, fires were reported in Minyip, Concongella and St Arnaud.
Country Fire Authority acted swiftly and was on the scene within minutes of the call out at 7.50pm to a fire 2 kilometres south of Minyip on the Stawell-Warracknabeal road.
A Country Fire Authority spokesperson said due to the weather conditions firefighters did an excellent job containing the blaze.
“The first appliance was on the scene within two minutes. The fire was in a wheat crop and burnt approximately 20 hectares of land. It was travelling rapidly,” they said.
Police officers were at the scene for traffic control.
“It was brought under control at 8.27pm. This fire was fought in the middle of a dust storm,” they said.
Firefighters were on the scene for some time after the fire was listed as under control.
“The fire moved into a light timber area. Visibility was poor due to weather conditions. The fire was brought to a stop at 8.58pm. The crews were on the scene for some time to make sure the area was safe,” they said.
14 appliances were at the scene and CFA is assisting police with enquiries into the cause of the fire.
At about 6.15pm CFA was alerted to a column of smoke at Bulgana Road, Concongella from big hill fire tower in Stawell.
The spokesperson said about 15 hectares of land was burnt in the fire, believed to have started by a lightning strike.
“We had 18 appliances present. The fire was under control by 7.21pm and was stopped at 10.24pm,” they said.
“Crew members returned on Sunday morning to assess the area and make sure when all the blacking out was performed during the night the process was monitored accordingly.
“The combination of high winds and lightning at any time of year – but in particular this time of year, it’s really a recipe for fire. Without being with the ground crew at the scene to have it contained to the size it was I would say was a pretty good outcome.”
Both CFA and a number of other agencies were called to the scene of a grass and scrub fire near St Arnaud at 7.14pm on Saturday.
The fire which seven units from CFA attended is of unknown size.
“The fire was brought under control at 8.23pm and was listed as stopped at 20.30,” they said.
“CFA is assisting police to obtain the cause of the fire.”
Residents across the region also requested assistance from the State Emergency Services due to the high winds damaging property and trees fallen down.
An SES spokesperson said between the hours of 10.30am Saturday to 10.30am Sunday a small number of requests for assistance were received, mostly closer to Melbourne and Bendigo.
“In the Wimmera, there were seven call-outs for the Horsham unit, Ararat had two, Stawell had two, and Warracknabeal had six,” they said.
"These were mostly for trees down."
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