Our fire safety plan successfully tested in Ouyen

A well-organised team effort by site staff helped avert a disaster at Ouyen when our fire safety plan was put to the test.

On a hot summer day the Bronzewing Flora and Fauna Reserve near Ouyen in Victoria was burning out of control. The townships of Ouyen, Underbool and Manangatang were under threat.

Late that night a Code Red emergency status was activated by the State Fire Authority. The wind had changed direction and a fire in the 12,000 hectare Reserve had turned. It was heading straight for Ouyen and surrounding areas, including the village and mine site.

With thick smoke, high winds and a lot of ash in the air, the Ouyen Village was put on lockdown and our staff swung into action reassuring residents, conducting safety checks and watching for flying embers. The fire was so intense that the fire glow was visible 100km away in Mildura, Victoria.

A very anxious five hours later, the bushfire was downgraded to ‘watch and act’ status. The incident proved that a good safety plan saves lives.

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