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Fire Heads Towards Northcliffe - Residents Told To Evacuate
A number of dairy farms and historic homes are in the line of the blaze which has burnt more than 28,000 hectares of forest. Worried residents attended a meeting at Northcliffe Town Hall where they heard the fire is still burning out of control.
They were told the blaze is heading directly for the town and those who are not prepared to actively defend their homes should leave.
One resident, Abe Shields, lives south of the town.
"I've watered my place but there's not a real lot you can do on a bush block," he said.
Police doorknocked around the town to make sure people were ready to leave if necessary and to ensure the elderly were not left behind. Authorities hope to secure containment lines overnight but Northcliffe residents remain on high alert. Many are fleeing to an evacuation centre that has been set up 30 kilometres north in Pemberton.
About 160 firefighters are battling the blaze while four water bombers are providing aerial support. The Department of Environment and Conservation's Murray Carter says fire crews have been tested.
"If you get through the peak of afternoon conditions, what it then gives you, it doesn't mean it's all over, but it gives you another night of cooler, more mild conditions," he said.
"So, we'll work through the night again, as we did last night; it gives us a greater chance of strengthening containment lines overnight."
An emergency warning remains in place for west of the Gardner River between Double Bridge Road and Summertime Track. A watch and act has been issued for communities in the vicinity of Northcliffe, properties south of Boorara and Richardson roads and the settlement of Windy Harbour.
The fire has been burning for 10 days after it was started by lightning.
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