COMMUNITIES within the Shire of Strathbogie were rocked last week with over 5000 hectares of bushland and private property burnt, destroying four homes and forcing residents to evacuate to Euroa in what was a dangerous start to the 2014-15 fire season.
Dry lightning strikes from Monday evening ignited a grass and scrub fire last Tuesday afternoon in the hills south of Longwood near the intersection of Upton Road and Gap Road.
The fast moving fire moved in a south-easterly direction into scrub and tree vegetation, driven by 50km/h winds.
It quickly spread through parts of Upton Hill, Longwood East, Ruffy, Creighton’s Creek and Gooram, stretching the resources of firefighters throughout the district.
Some residents living within the Creighton’s Creek area were forced to evacuate to Euroa, while others decided to stay and defend.
The four properties lost were on Sargoods Road (Gooram), McLeans Lane (Ruffy) and along Longwood-Ruffy Road (Creighton’s Creek).