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Fire didn't bypass Dandy Sth

A grass and scrub fire blocked traffic and spread towards factories in Dandenong South on Friday 4th January.

Call came in at 12:15pm initially as a fence fire at the edge of a new housing estate that backed onto the Dandenong Bypass reserve. With strong gusty winds and high temperatures the fire quickly burnt through the fence-line and into the reserve next to the bypass.

Visibility along the roadway was severely reduced as the fire spotted across the bypass and into thick tufts of grass. Dandenong Pumper headed to the original location and redirected tankers to the reserve. Police closed the bypass as crews worked on both sides.

Incident Controller Rick Owen from Dandenong brigade said the strong winds pushed the fire away from the houses damaging several fences and trees before taking off. He requested "Tankers 5" with a "Not yet under control wordback" within minutes of arriving.

As the fire was gaining the upper hand on existing crews IC Owen made "Pumpers 5 and Tankers 10 with air support". MFB crews arrived from Station 31 to work with CFA crews from Carrum Downs, Frankston, Keysborough, Rowville, Scoresby, Patterson River, Hallam, Springvale, Skye, Hampton Park, Clyde and Dandenong.

Once two helitaks started water bombing the area the fire was slowed considerably. Ground crews continued blacking out until late in the day. Dandenong Bypass was reopened around 6:00pm.

Patterson River MCV handled all radio communications and Narre Warren provided catering for crews. A fire stop was placed on the call at 4:20pm and the last crew returned at 9:15pm.

Police and CFA Fire Investigators are trying to ascertain the cause of the fire.

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