WATER bombing aircraft were called in last night to help fight a fire that was burning several kilometres west of Mortlake.
Nanjing Night Net

The blaze, which burnt 450 hectares, was also being tackled on the ground by 16 firefighting units including tankers, dozers and slip-on units. It was under control just after 9pm.

It crossed Thulborn’s Lane and travelled north towards the Hamilton Highway.

The Country Fire Authority and Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) issued a “watch and act” alert, advising nearby residents to monitor conditions and follow their bushfire survival plan.

They also warned the fire could affect Mortlake.

A DSE spokesman said the blaze was believed to have started following a planned burn which was lit at the Mortlake common yesterday morning.

The fire flared up about 6.45pm when it moved beyond control lines and it is now affecting nearby properties.

“No communities are at risk at this stage,” he said last night.

“The wind is our greatest concern. It’s a bit blustery and it’s a south-east wind but, luckily, the temperature’s dropped off.”

Crews from the CFA and DSE were fighting the blaze with aircraft called in from bases at Colac and Stawell.

The 160-hectare common is home to a native grassland reserve and yesterday’s planned burn was designed to reduce fine fuel across 80 per cent of the area and assist with the promotion of native grasses.

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