Property and agriculture losses confirmed for fires in western Victoria

2 April 2019

Specialist teams working to assess property and agriculture loss and damage from Friday’s grassfires near Ballarat and Geelong have completed their work. 

Impact assessments follow the efforts of hundreds of firefighters and several aircraft that responded to two significant grassfires around the Ballarat area from Friday. These fires started shortly after 2pm and are now under control. 

The initial assessment at Mt Mercer includes:

  • 1 unoccupied residential property destroyed
  • 3 haysheds destroyed
  • 2,369 sheep lost
  • 680 tonnes of hay and 946 hectares of pasture destroyed 
  • 21km of internal fencing and 11.5km external fencing destroyed
  • Further agriculture assessments are continuing

The initial assessment at Bunkers Hill includes:

  • 1 residential property destroyed
  • 1 residential property identified as damaged 
  • 11 outbuildings destroyed
  • Numerous cars, trailers and machinery destroyed
  • Livestock losses still to be confirmed
  • Further agriculture assessments are continuing

Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said Friday’s fires and weather conditions challenged emergency services and the community. 

“As a result of the fires at Bunkers Hill and Mt Mercer there has been property loss, significant stock and agriculture losses and that is devastating. My thoughts are with those families who have experienced that loss,” he said. 

“It is important to note however firefighters and emergency services personnel on the ground and in the air worked extremely hard and saved a number of properties.

“Firefighters will continue to patrol the area of the Mt Mercer fire, with a number of hay sheds likely to burn for several days. While there is no immediate threat to the community, smoke is likely to be visible from nearby communities and roads.
 
“While we’re experiencing milder conditions, the message very clearly is we cannot afford to become complacent. The state is very dry and there is still significant potential for fires.

“It’s important to stay connected to emergency information and monitor conditions.” 

Victorians can get emergency information from a number of sources including the VicEmergency app, emergency.vic.gov.au, tuning in to ABC radio or other emergency broadcasters including commercial and community radio stations or Sky TV, or by phoning the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226 and following VicEmergency on Facebook and Twitter.