No amount of planning could have stopped the Barnawartha blaze taking off.
That was the brutal assessment in the CFA’s Wodonga incident centre as the decision was made before 5pm to evacuate people in the Leneva area.
Paul King said the fire’s size, speed and strength was exactly what authorities expected would happen should a blaze get away in such extreme conditions as Sunday
“You can plan all you like but firefighters just can’t physically keep up with it.”
The fire started just beside the northern side of the Hume Freeway, near Harvey Lane, about 1pm.
While the cause would be investigated, that was not the priority for now.
“There’s bigger fish to fry,” Mr King said.