Firefighters save houses

A fire blazes out of control at Stonyford, west of Colac.

A fire blazes out of control at Stonyford, west of Colac.

MORE than 250 firefighters, 35 trucks and three helicopters have stopped a fast-moving fire from destroying Colac district homes.

The Stonyford blaze started at Scoulers Road, west of Colac, and spread west, threatening homes on the fire perimeter.

Firefighters prepare to battle a fire at Stonyford.

Firefighters prepare to battle a fire at Stonyford.

Country Fire Authority warnings kept residents on alert from Swan Marsh and Bungador to Cobden.

Country Fire Authority incident controller Nick Brown praised the efforts of the CFA crews which fought the 550-hectare fire, saving homes and lives.

Mr Brown said the nature of the stony country had made fighting the blaze difficult, with only four-wheel-drive fire units able to reach Wednesday’s fire in places.

“We’ve been really fortunate, but fantastic work done there yesterday, we’ve not had property losses or animal losses,” he said.

“The guys out on the ground who’ve been running it were very professional.”

Mr Brown also praised Department of Environment and Primary Industries staff at the fire’s incident control centre.

Koallah’s Ammie Jackson said she waited in Colac for much of the day after receiving a call from one her neighbours about the fire.

“We just kept a close eye on the updates, and our friends and neighbours checked up on each other,” Ms Jackson said.

“I decided to stay in Colac where it was safe, until I got the downgraded message, later that night,” she said.

“It was a pretty stressful kind of situation, but the CFA’s doing such a great job.”

Ms Jackson said she believed the fire burned land within two kilometres of her house.

She said knowing the fire was moving quickly while she was in Colac was stressful.

“I was just hoping that the house was going to be safe and that everyone in the district was going to be okay as well,” Ms Jackson said.

“We’ve had some close-ish calls out here before, especially Black Saturday, there was a large fire at Pomborneit, that was the other side of me at the time,” she said.

“Living out here where we do, it’s something that’s always at the forefront of your mind, during this season.”

Police and CFA are investigating the cause of the blaze.

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