116 Homes Lost To Bushfires Along Great Ocean Road

28 Dec 2015 0

Looking towards Wye River from Lorne, Photo supplied

Looking towards Wye River from Lorne, Photo supplied

Christmas in Wye River, Separation Creek and surrounding Lorne areas has been dramatic and tragic as a bushfire started by a lightning strike last week, took the community by storm over the weekend.

*Coastalwatch has 2 live cameras in the area, LORNE & APOLLO BAY

116 home have been lost since Christmas Day across 2 of Victoria's beautiful beach-side Shires, as the fire took hold of over 2000 hectare land and became uncontainable. Despite the loss of property, incredibly no lives have been lost but firefighters continue to bring the blaze under control in and around one of the state's biggest holiday destinations .

SEE ALSO: Bells Beach Best Line-Ups Of 2015

Authorities say the fast-thinking actions of residents and fire crews ensured everyone was accounted for and evacuated quickly. The community also assisted in saving the local Surf lifesaving Club and general store as well as looking out for each other and have been praised by fire crews for their initiative and compassion. 

The Great Ocean Road towns are expected to lose an estimated $40 million in summer tourism earnings at the height of what is usually peak season on the Surf Coast. Apollo Bay's population usually blows up in December - January, from 1200 to over 10,000 setting the local businesses up for the remainder of the year. 

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, today encouraged holiday-makers and tourists to continue their holidays to the pristine coastline but to stay aware of the conditions and warnings at all times. 

Annual New Years music festival Falls Festival brings over ten-thousand people to the Apollo Bay area. It has been moved from Lorne to Mount Dundeed Estate, north of Torquay to ensure all attendees are out of the way of danger. Organisers have announced that since the 4-day festival is still going ahead, no refunds will be offered.

Temperatures are predicted to stay in the low twenties until New Years Eve when they will climb again to the 30's. Firies are preparing for all possible scenarios this week to keep the Surf Coast safe and the fires under control.

Tags: lorne , wye , river , great , ocean , road , victoria (create Alert from these tags)

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