CONSTRUCTION of a four-kilometre above-ground water pipeline has been completed near Cobrico in a bid to combat the nearby peat fire.
The pipeline was connected to the nearest ‘mains’ water pipe on Roycrofts Road and will pump an extra four megalitres into the burning peat swamp on a daily basis.
“Establishing this pipeline is a significant step forward – it is set to considerably increase the amount of water available at Cobrico, this means pumping more water to the site and pumping it at a faster rate,” Incident Controller Graeme Armstrong said.
“The pipeline is just one of the strategies we are implementing to assist in fire suppression, but it allows firefighters to continue their work day and night on extinguishing the fire.”
Trenches have been built around the perimeter of the Cobrico fire to stop the spread of fire and to allow deeper infiltration of water into the ground.
A similar trench is also being established at Lake Elingamite.
Mr Armstrong said a range of other firefighting strategies was also helping crews to make good progress at the Elingamite and Bullen Merri peat fires.
“They are very difficult to beat – often taking weeks if not months to control and this is another positive step in the right direction,” Mr Armstong said.
“We are utilising a range of strategies to combat the fires including the use of specialist Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) units from Tasmania and Latrobe Valley.”
He said the CAFS units were proving to be successful in helping to suppress smoke.
Smoke from the peat fires was expected to continue to impact nearby communities for some time to come.
“Everyone working on these peat fires should be proud of their efforts,” Mr Armstrong said.
“There is a lot of hard work being done across the south west and I would like to acknowledge emergency management personnel and the agencies that have contributed so far.
“Thank you to the community who have listened to our information and warnings.”