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Posted October 19, 2006 EST

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Morwell Open Cut Mine Fire
Morwell Open Cut Mine Fire

The Morwell open cut fire that has been burning since Thursday October 12 has now been extinguished. The fire has burned for a period of 6 days, with up to 200 CFA personnel, 46 CFA fire trucks, 6 bulldozers, 3 graders, 2 tractors and 6 water carriers operating at the peak of the fire, working in conjunction with personnel and equipment from International Power-Hazelwood.

CFA has used modern technology such as Thermal Imaging Camera’s, firefighting aircraft and aircraft mounted infrared equipment to detect hot spots burning below the coals surface.

The majority of the firefighting has required difficult physical work in extremes of weather, by a total of approximately 800 personnal over the six day period. Weather Conditions combined with the large fire area and the physical environment of the coal mine, have made the fire fight a physically demanding activity on personnel.

A scaled down contingent of CFA firefighters and Incident Management Team personnel will remain in place to monitor the fire and complete allocated tasks.

Additional CFA crews are currently being demobilised, with equipment and fire trucks used at the Morwell Open Cut fire returning to their home locations.

CFA would like to thank the Morwell community, Latrobe City Council, support agencies such as Red Cross, SES, Victoria Police, Rural Ambulance Victoria and International Power-Hazelwood for their support over the last six days.

Most importantly CFA would like to thank all the firefighters who combated the fire, their efforts and personal sacrifice has been greatly appreciated.

Photos by Mykall Johnson and CFA
Written by CFA

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