MORE than 340 children were evacuated from the Chabad Youth Gan Yisroel camp near Mount Hotham in Victoria because out of control bushfires were approaching the site.
The decision was made late last night to evacuate the campsite, and by this afternoon (Thursday) all children had returned to Sydney or Melbourne.
Camp director Moshe Kahn said the call to evacuate was preventative at the time, and in consultation with the Country Fire Authority (CFA) and police.
“There were fires over the mountain and while there wasn’t an evacuation order, the advice from police was to leave,” Kahn said.
“We monitored the situation the whole time and it was a very calm evacuation.
“We got all the kids together, spoke to everyone and then left this morning.”
Kahn told The AJN that prior to leaving the CFA said it wasn’t necessary, while the Police recommended an evacuation.
“It was 100 per cent calm, but we weren’t going to wait and play with fire.”
While the decision was preventative this morning, updates from Emergencies Services Victoria have now put the campsite in direct line of fire.
According to Emergency Services Victoria, there are now several out of control bushfires near the campsite and they are recommending that people leave now because conditions may change and get worse very quickly.
“Emergency Services may not be able to help you if you decide to stay,” they stated.
This camp was one of 10 held this year by Chabad Youth in Victoria.
The kids, who are ranging from seven to 17 years of age, are now participating in other programs.