UPDATE: BUSHFIRE ADVISORY NEWS
WEDNESDAY 6 MARCH 8.34am
Given the current fire activity happening across eastern Victoria at present, including some that affects the region in which Warburton Trail Fest is hosted, we thought we'd give a quick update to ensure everyone is clear on the status of the situation, possible outcomes and what it means for the event and you the participant.
NO DECISION HAS YET BEEN MADE
At present we write this from Warburton township - so clearly things are safe here for the time being. However there are some minor fire outbreaks to the far east of Warburton Valley, and the Bunyip fire to the south of Powelltown (start of the 50km). Both locations are currently safe, and there have been no evacuation or emergency warnings for the locations. Weather tonight and tomorrow is predicted to ease all situations.
We are monitoring the situation in the next 24-48 hours and will communicate via email and social media any decisions made about whether or not the event will take place this weekend.
The main take-aways are:
· Competitor safety is paramount. Any and all decisions will be taken in line with advice from all the relevant Victoria Emergency authorities, and all decisions will rest on competitor safety as an absolute;
· There is an equal possibility of the event proceeding as planned or with some alterations to courses or potentially being cancelled altogether. We will not know the final decision until Wednesday PM at earliest and Thursday PM at latest;
· We will advise via email and social media (www.facebook.com/warburtontrailfest);
· We have been in contact with land managers, Parks Victoria and DELWP, and attended a CFA/Vic Emergency community meeting in Warburton this evening to be briefed on the situation as it stands (Watch and Act - which means the situation is currently safe but all local residents and visitors are advised to pay attention to all communication and advice coming from authorities);
· They advise us that they will liaise with Incident Command over coming 24-48 hours and advise us in due course;
· Everything will of course be done within the bounds of 100% safety for the event to proceed;
· Should the event not proceed, please be aware that it is not just about keeping you as visiting participants safe, but also the local community safe and allowing the authorities to be able to do their job to the best of their abilities - which sometimes means an extra 600+ people not necessarily being in town! We appreciate your understanding.
· If the event is postponed, we will advise a next suitable replacement date soonest, likely making the event a 2-day outing, likely at the end of April. We will need to consult with local authorities and partners before announcing a firm date.
· We apologise, but there is no refund should the event be postponed, and we ask for your understating in this in terms of the significant costs already incurred to this point and outlay increase in order to re-schedule on another weekend. We understand that many have booked accommodation, made travel bookings, including from interstate, and the like and we do apologise for the inconvenience and costs / losses incurred, however as you can understand these things are well out of our control (quite often travel insurance and/or credit card insurance will cover such event cancellations - worth checking).
For current updates on the general situation:
Vic Emergency website: http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/
We will endeavour to update you as soon as we can.
Please note that as we are still in event set-up mode while also dealing with the extra demands of managing the logistics of the situation, we prefer only urgent queries at this time and ask for your understanding if we take a while to get back to emails and texts (text is best for short urgent queries).
VOLUNTEER CALL OUT: should Warburton Trail Fest go ahead, we may put a call out for more volunteers as usually we use a significant number of CFA volunteers on our road crossings - obviously they are busy and/or will need rest having been out in the field! So we will try to cover their spots with our own volunteers but will still donate a significant amount as we did last year, to the local brigade. So perhaps you have friends who may be willing to help out for an hour or two here and there - all in order to help raise funds for the CFA and keep the event running smoothly and participants safe! firstname.lastname@example.org to register interest.
Cheers and thanks for your understanding.
Tour de Trails