116 homes burn near the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia

Lorne-Jamieson Track bushfire
The Lorne-Jamieson Track bushfire. Country Fire Authority photo.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has confirmed that at least 116 homes were destroyed in a bushfire that burned along the Great Ocean Road near Separation Creek and Wye River in Victoria Australia. Many people were forced from their homes on Christmas night, causing traffic jams as residents fled to Torquay or Melbourne.

Lorne fire
Lorne-Jamieson Track Bushfire. CFA map.

One couple who live in nearby Lorne, Wilma and Ian Bishop, did not evacuate but slept in their car near the beach, planning to run into the sea if the fire spread into the town. However the fire bypassed Lorne, inflicting most of the damage in Wye River and Separation Creek.

The fire started December 19 from a lightning strike in Great Otway National Park eight kilometers west of Lorne. At the last report it had burned 2,290 hectares (5,659 acres). On December 24 the resources on the fire included 150 firefighters, 6 air tankers, 7 dozers, and a 40-person incident management team.

Lorne fire IMT
Part of the Incident Management Team on the Lorne-Jamieson Track Bushfire, December 24, 2015. CFA photo.
Lorne fire community meeting
The CFA hosts a community meeting on December 25, 2015, for the Loren-Jamieson Track Bushfire.

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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.