Bushfires threaten Tonimbuk

       The smoke and orange hue in the sky from the fires are visible many kilometres away

 

 

A few days of very hot weather coupled with lightning strikes on Friday afternoon have sparked multiple outbreaks of bushfire in Victoria’s Bunyip State Forest near the Tonimbuk Equestrian Centre where the first international event of the Australian eventing season is set to take place next weekend

Water-bombers were brought in overnight but were unable to contain the fires and an emergency warning was issued on Saturday morning for several townships near the Bunyip State Forest, including Gembrook, Tonimbuk and Tynong North as another day of high temperatures is expected

Many riders from the area have already evacuated their horses, including Kate Wallis, Event Director for next weekend’s Cardinia Shire Tonimbuk International Horse Trials. The Tonimbuk Equestrian Centre is close to the fires but is offering refuge to any horse owners who cannot leave the area as its mainly cleared land and large gravelled parking areas may provide a safer option for those in nearby heavily treed areas

Cross country course designer John Nicholson flew in on Friday from New Zealand to finalise preparations for the event which hopefully will escape the fire’s path.

Past Australian National Eventing Champion and now racehorse trainer Kate Farrell Beadel is a local to the area who has evacuated her horses but returned to the area to keep watch has posted a video on her Facebook page showing the current situation

Further information regarding the fires can be found on the Emergency Victoria website and Facebook page

 

Well known rider and coach Del Ogilvy has also left her home at Tynong North but these are photos taken before they left