Wodonga lightning starts fires

FIREFIGHTERS were kept busy with several lightning strikes around the Wodonga region on Monday.

The most serious was near Jarvis Creek with smoke visible from the Tallangatta township.

A lightning strike was reported about 4pm with four CFA units from Old Tallangatta, Bethanga, Tallangatta and Bullioh attending.

They were supported by two smaller trucks, a larger unit and grader from the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

The CFA operations officer at Wodonga, Adrian Gutsche, said the fire burned grass and some scrub but it was contained to about 10 hectares by the quick response.

Mr Gutsche said a helicopter from Ovens near Myrtleford was used for fire bombing, a drop was also made by a plane from Albury with a second helicopter co-ordinating the bombing.

Mr Gutsche said the aircraft hold fires until ground crews arrive.

The ground crews got to the location promptly considering the terrain.

Mr Gutsche said the fire was almost opposite Tallangatta on the other side of Lake Hume.

The Mt Pilot fire spotter saw a fire in a single tree started by a lightning strike in the Indigo Valley about 11.15am.

Two trucks from Indigo Valley and one from Chiltern responded but only one truck was needed to contain the fire.

A tree fire near Yackandandah caused by lighting was quickly controlled as was another tree fire behind the old Leneva fire station opposite Mt Barunduda.

Fire crew members from Biggara saw a lightning strike in NSW about 3pm near the Bringenbrong Bridge.

They soon arrived at the scene and contained a fire to a couple of hectares with a NSW fire crew also attending.

Mr Gutsche said an aircraft was being deployed yesterday to check around the Upper Murray where there had been considerable potential for major fires with the number of lighting strikes.

He said cooler weather yesterday was welcomed but more lightning strikes were predicted for later this week.

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