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Hopes Vic fire contained by end of Jan

Victorian fire crews are working day and night to contain an out-of-control coastal blaze by the end of the month.

杭州桑拿

Weak winds and cool temperatures have helped firefighters strengthen containment lines around the 2500-hectare Wye River fire, which is burning in dense and mountainous forest.

Incident controller Gregg Paterson says while some rain is falling, it is only enough to “annoy” firefighters who hope to contain the fire by January 30.

“This is a very difficult fire,” he told AAP on Wednesday.

“The plan is to have the fire contained by the 30th of January, but if it were earlier, that would be awesome.”

The misty rain and low cloud coverage were making it difficult for aircraft to fly and water-bomb fire hot spots, Mr Paterson said.

More than 300 personnel, including 23 New Zealand specialist firefighters, are battling to control the bushfire that razed 116 homes on Christmas Day.

Mr Paterson said the New Zealand crew working at the north end of the fire had done some amazing work with hand tools such as rakes, also placing water-filled backpacks on the edge of containment lines to ensure the area was wet.

Crews wanted to gain as much ground on the fire as possible before predicted warmer temperatures on the weekend, Mr Paterson said.

Morale was high and good planning meant everything was going as smoothly as possible, he said.

“I’m really comfortable where we’re at – I’d just like the weather to go on being kind to us,” Mr Paterson said.

The Great Ocean Road was reopened at 8am on Wednesday.

That’s expected to bring some relief to tourism operators and business owners in the holiday playground after days of major disruption from the blaze.

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