Image Upload

File size must be less than 2Mb

You must have online publishing permission or full ownership of this image

File types (jpg, png, gif)

  • Hero image
    Fire Rescue Victoria incident controller Mark Gunning, Premier Jacinta Allan, CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan and Minister for Emergency Services Jaclyn Symes inspect fire damage at Dadswells Bridge.

Pomonal and Dadswells Bridge on the road to recovery after fires

By Lauren Henry

Residents affected by two Grampians National Park bushfires last week have begun the road to recovery, after one-third of Pomonal’s houses were burnt in the blaze.

Pomonal lost 45 homes, while one home burnt at Dadswells Bridge, along with a string of sheds, fencing and other assets.

The fires, started by dry lightning strikes on a catastrophic fire danger day on February 13, required a signficant response by emergency services personnel.

Article continues below

The Bellfield fire, which affected Pomonal, burnt a total of 2223 hectares,
while 4357 hectares was razed by the Mt Staplyton blaze, which affected Dadswells Bridge. Fire crews remain in both areas monitoring conditions and
treating fire-damaged trees. Smoke might be visible from nearby areas.

While there is no threat to communities, authorities are mindful of weather conditions on Thursday and ask people to remain vigilant. 

Pomonal remained closed to the wider public yesterday, with insurance assessors on site before residents could begin clean-up.

Horsham, Northern Grampians and Ararat councils are contributing to the set-up costs to have BlazeAid volunteers based at Halls Gap Recreation Reserve to work on fencing at fire-affected properties.

At a community meeting at Dads-wells Bridge last week, Horsham Mayor Robyn Gulline acknowledged the stressful situation residents had faced. “We are here to help now during the recovery phase,” she said.

“We know it’s a long way to recovery, but we will do whatever we can to make life easier.”

Residents raised questions about the lack of planned burns in the area in recent time; traffic management points; speeding through the lowered speed zones on the Western Highway; and lack of mobile phone coverage.

About 140 sheep died in the Dadswells Bridge area, and were buried on site.

There were no reports of livestock losses at Pomonal.

“Our focus this week is to support our farmers to restore essential services like power and collect further information on the impacts and consequences to impacted rural landholders from fires and storms,” an Agriculture Victoria spokesperson said.

Parts of the Grampians National Park reopened yesterday after the entire park had been closed since the fires. The following areas of the park remain closed: Mount Zero carpark and picnic area; Hollow Mountain carpark; Mount Stapylton area; Mount Difficult area; Mount William and Major Mitchell Plateau; and Mafeking area.

Further areas of the park will be reopened once safe, with an update expected later in the week.

“At this stage it appears no campgrounds or other types of facilities have been impacted. Tracks in the affected areas will be assessed in the coming days,” a Parks Victoria spokesperson said. Horsham Rural City Council is partnering with GIVIT, the State Government’s official donation management channel, to capture specific needs and provide targeted assistance. People or organisations wanting to support bushfire-affected communities can register at
2024 to offer donations and support.

Horsham Plaza management office is collecting vouchers for food, fuel, hardware and day-to-day needs, which will be passed onto Member for Lowan Emma Kealy’s office to distribute to fire victims.

A GoFundMe page for the Pomonal community has collected more than $90,000. To donate visit

RELATED: Heartwarming response to Pomonal fire

RELATED: Pomonal fundraiser revs up

RELATED: Ballarat firefighters survive Grampians burnover

RELATED: Ararat council ready to assist in Pomonal rebuild

RELATED: Fleeing from Dadswells fire

RELATED: Premier sees Grampians fire devastation


The entire February 21, 2024 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!