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Fears huge Victorian bushfire and NSW inferno could ‘suck each other in’ forming one mega blaze



More than 110 blazes continue to burn across NSW on Thursday afternoon, with more than 50 burning out of control.

There were three fires burning at a ‘watch and act’ level as of 6pm.

These were the 260,000-hectare Currowan fire on the south coast, the 130,000ha Dunns Road fire in the Snowy Valleys and the 105,000ha Green Valley fire east of Albury.


Seven people have perished since Monday evening, taking the NSW bushfire death toll since July to 15. That includes three firefighters.

A 72-year-old man remains missing at Belowra, west of Narooma, but an 81-year-old woman who was missing in Conjola Park has been located safe and well.


At least 382 homes have been destroyed on the south coast since New Year’s Eve. The number will increase as damage assessment teams access hard-to-reach areas.

Some 1298 homes, 85 facilities and 2218 outbuildings such as sheds have been confirmed destroyed across NSW since July.


No total fire bans are in place on Thursday but a statewide total fire ban has been declared for Friday and Saturday.

People near Batlow have been asked to leave by Thursday night while holiday-makers in the alps and between Nowra and the Victorian border should be out by Friday night.

Across the border, Victorian authorities want tourists and locals to leave the state’s alpine and East Gippsland regions by Thursday.


Fire weather eased on Thursday, allowing firefighters to prepare for deteriorating conditions over the weekend.

Dangerous fire conditions are expected to return to southeast NSW on Saturday, where the temperature is forecast to reach 45C inland and 44C on the coast.

A gusty southerly is expected to cross the area in the afternoon.

Fire danger will be severe to extreme with the RFS saying conditions on Saturday will likely be worse than those experienced on New Year’s Eve.


Motorists should avoid travel to the south coast and Snowy Mountains-Riverina areas, where fires have caused widespread power outages and major road closures.

The Princes Highway north of Batemans Bay has been reopened, with a reduced speed limit of 60 km/h.

Sections of the Princes Highway south of Batemans Bay remain closed.

The Snowy Mountains Highway is open between Bega and Adaminaby, providing a route back to Sydney and Canberra for motorists on the far south coast.

The Adaminaby to Tumut section of the highway is open for residents only while several other major alpine roads are exit-only or completely closed.



Two confirmed deaths including – Buchan resident Mick Roberts

There are 28 people who remain missing in Gippsland

Ten watch and act warnings in place across the state, the second highest warning level

About 50 fires are still burning in the state

A ‘very active’ fire at Ensay in the Swift’s Creek Valley with more blazes around Hotham and Omeo

More than 1,000 firefighters are working across the state

There are between 3,000 to 4,000 people stranded in Mallacoota and they are being asked to register for navy evacuation. The plan is for 800 to be taken out by sea from 7am Friday, with more trips to follow

Helicopters will be used for evacuations as well, when possible because of smoke

Some firefighter shift changes are happening via helicopter

24 satellite phones either dropped into isolated communities or delivered later on Thursday

The CFA is burning out areas around Clifton Creek

Relief packages including water are arriving to remote communities


Confirmed property losses are 24 at Buchan, 19 at Sarsfield, 10 at Mallacoota and 15 at Cudgewa, but more losses are expected to be confirmed

Structures lost include the Clifton Creek Primary School, which the state government has vowed to rebuild. Temporary facilities will be in place for the start of term one

More than 766,000 hectares of land has been burnt out in East Gippsland

About 24 remote communities have lost power and phone coverage

A boil water notice for Mallacoota has been lifted, but people are asked to restrict to essential use


With the worsening conditions forecast in East Gippsland and Alpine areas from Friday night into Saturday, residents are being ask to think about leaving now if they can

It could take days or even weeks to entirely evacuate Mallacoota because of the logistical challenges

Moderate conditions on Thursday are helping firefighters, with temperatures in the low to mid 20s and fairly light winds

Mercury is forecast to creep up in the region on Friday, before reaching the 40s on Saturday, when the heat, hot winds and possible thunderstorms will increase the risk of new fires