With cabins available amid the evacuation and bunk-lodgings accommodating 50, NRMA Bright Holiday Park proudly welcomed Army Reservists to its park in January this year.
“The Australian Defence Force deployed about 60 service personnel. They were here for about 12 days,” says park manager Rian Banks.
The Army Reserve Platoon helped the local fire authority establish and reinforce containment lines up at Mount Hotham.
“The whole town felt very safe having them stay,” says Rian.
“They were great. They really appreciated the situation.
“The kids were allowed to take a look inside their vehicles. They looked after the town—I’d have them back anytime.”
AN IMPROVING SITUATION
Although blazes continue within the local national parks, fire suppression techniques have slashed the risk to the local community.
In fact, reports from 5pm last night reveal the blaze 8km east south east of Abbeyard was contained.
And with favourable weather predicated, Bright and neighbouring Myrtleford were no longer ‘Under Advice’ at the time of printing.
“While we felt very safe to have them stay in the park, when they left we knew the fire situation was improving,” Rian explains.
NRMA BRIGHT HOLIDAY PARK: GETTING BACK ON TRACK
The beautiful townships of Bright and Myrtleford rely heavily on the tourist trade with more than 10 caravan parks in the region.
“Look, the town missed out on most of its revenue this year.
“We’ve had a little bit of a pick up with the bike race [Alpine Classic] over the weekend.
“We went from 35 percent capacity to 70 percent. It was an improvement but it wasn’t the intensity [we were expecting].”
Bright has plenty of festivals and welcomes a lot of guests on the weekends throughout the year.
“What we need is that mid-week pick-up. So people who travel mid-week really help,” Rian says.