Gallery: Lightning starts valley fires

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A SUDDEN storm heading up the Ovens Valley caused a fire in steep country at Harrietville yesterday that fire crews were able to contain by last night.

The fire was started by lightning from a thunderstorm that dumped 16.5 millimetres of rain in one site.

A Department of Sustainability and Environment spokesman said the fire started about 2.45pm and was brought under control by 8pm.

The fire, in steep country covered by tall trees, burnt about two hectares.

The spokesman said the area had been blacked out by the big fires of 2003 and 2006, “but there was still a lot to burn in there”.

Meanwhile, lightning is also believed to responsible for several fires east of Albury-Wodonga overnight.

About two hectares was burnt in fire at Mount Brutal, east of Bullioh, while there was also small fires at Tallangatta and north of Bullioh.

Officially, the Border's spectacular lightning show brought no rain to Albury-Wodonga, although some areas, particularly north and east of Albury, experienced heavy downpours.

WEATHER:Today will be sunny across the region with temperatures in the mid- to high-30s.

Today is a day of very high fire danger in the North East and Riverina.

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