THE alpine fires still burning in Victoria's High Country could mean major headaches for the upcoming mountain calf sales.The Harrietville fire is about 35,437ha in size with the southern part of it is still not under control.
And the Great Alpine Rd between Harrietville and Mt Hotham remains closed.
This road closure is a major concern for the High Country cattle producers with just two weeks before the mountain calf sales.
The two-day Elders sale is set to sell about 10,000 head of cattle over two days in Omeo, Ensay and Benambra.
But if the mountain overpass remains closed it may mean a bigger cost for northern buyers if trucks can't use this road.
"They can get cattle out from Corryong or through Gippsland, but the major volume would go back over the mountain,” said independent Albury cattle buyer Graeme Ward.
"(If the road remains closed) it makes it a bit harder for northern buyers and a bit more expensive."
Omeo Elders agent David Hill said they have been in discussions with VicRoads about a contingency plan.
"We have been proactive with VicRoads . . . so we just have to work in with them," Mr Hill said.
VicRoads regional director Sebastian Motta said his agency's contractors were working around the clock to carry out repair works on damaged sections of the road so it could be opened when it was safe.
"VicRoads has contingency plans in place in case the Great Alpine Rd cannot be fully opened by the March long weekend," Mr Motta said.
"A number of alternate routes to transport cattle after the sales are being identified and inspected for suitability of the large trucks, including the Benambra-Corryong Rd and via Bairnsdale.
"Truck escorts through roads that currently have restricted access is also being explored, but safety will be the highest priority."