Hazelwood coal mine fire almost extinguished

Fire fighters believe the ongoing Hazelwood coal mine fire could be extinguished as early as Monday.

For close to a month fire fighters have been battling a deliberately lit blaze at the mine.

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said the fire started on the Strzelecki Highway between Morwell and Mirboo North about 1.30pm on February 9.

The fire burnt through a timber plantation causing serious damage before reaching the mine.

There were also a number of smaller suspicious grass fires around the immediate area in Yinnar, Hazelwood and Boolarra on 28 January and again on the morning of 9 February.

Detectives believe person or persons lit "test fires" in order to understand how the fire would act.

Lay says the arsonists were "very calculated."

Now, after battling the blaze authorities believe they have it under control.

Fire Service commissioner Craig Lapsley has stated that “we're not there but we're close and so to Morwell residents stick with us," according to the ABC.

"The next few days will tell the story of when this fire will be out, then I suppose it's about how we support the Morwell community in cleaning up."

However concerns have been after new fires emerged just a few hundred metres from the Hazelwood power station, near the mine, the Herald Sun reports.

Luckily these were quickly extinguished.

To see a collection of images of the blaze and the firefighters attempt to extinguish it, click here.




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