Pomonal residents evacuated in Grampians fire emergency

REGION - The bushfire emergency in the Grampians National Park and the Black Range near Stawell over the weekend saw Pomonal residents evacuated.

Ararat Rural City Council opened its Emergency Relief Centre on Friday morning with around 80 people registered there after an evacuation notice for Pomonal was issued.

While most opted to stay with family or friends, around 10 people stayed overnight at accommodation organised through the centre with the Salvation Army.

In addition to opening the relief centre, due to the significance of the emergency, Council also opened its Municipal Emergency Co-ordination Centre, providing support to people on the ground in the Incident Control Centre.

Emergency management co-ordinator David Tepper said assistance was provided in various forms including providing signage and heavy equipment.

"We used everyone we had, from guys at the depot through to staff who were reallocated to work on different tasks, to help out in the emergency," he said

Council held a public meeting yesterday morning in Pomonal to keep the community informed of the fire situation, with about 90 residents attending.

The current fire situation and water situation were discussed and Council reminded everyone to remain vigilant.

Personal health and wellbeing was also discussed and Mr Tepper said while property might not have been impacted, many were impacted personally, in light of the 2006 Grampians bushfires and the memories the weekend's fires brought back.

"People who aren't beneath the fire can easily forget and get back to normal when the smoke's not in your back yard, but it's not over for some people," he said

As well as the CFA website, public information on the fire situation is also available through the Visitor Information Centre in Ararat.

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