THOUSANDS of litres of fire retardant will be dumped on the Harrietville fire today as Victoria’s Premier said the state’s largest bushfires may never be extinguished without a big, soaking of rain.
Helicopters will use a 19,000 litre dipping tank to drop red-coloured fire retardant on the Harrietville fire that has been burning for a week.
Incident controller Andy Miller said the retardant was needed to create fire breaks where firefighters could not reach.
It was important to complete the work before hot weather returned, he said.
A “watch and act” warning remained in place for residents of Violet Town where a bushfire of 1600 hectares continued to burn south of the community at Boho.
Firefighters were also working on controlling the Tallangatta East fire.
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said no communities were directly under threat but the fires, including those at Tallangatta East, Boho and Harrietville, would need rain to put them out completely.
“Any of these large forest-based fires are unlikely to be extinguished by hand,” Mr Baillieu said.
But Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Richard Carlyon said there was little relief coming with Violet Town likely to see only about five millimetres of rain today.
CFA district 24 duty officer John Bigham said crews at the Mount Charlie fire at Tallangatta East were aiming to black-out and keep containment lines solid before fire danger increased at the end of the week.
Crews hoped to contain the Boho fire by tonight.