Residents in central Victoria have been told it is too late to leave after a massive has bushfire spiraled out of control.
An emergency warning is in place for Newham, Pastoria, Lancefield and Pipers Creek with a wild inferno travelling north west along Baynton Road and threatening properties on Goochs Lane.
Locals have been warned that it is too late to leave and to seek shelter inside from the dangerous fire conditions.
‘You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive,’ the warning reads.
An emergency warning has been issued for Victorian residents in Newham, Pastoria, Lancefield and Pipers Creek due to an out of control bushfire. Pictured: firefighters monitor conditions between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in East Gippsland in January
Vic Emergency released the warning to residents on Sunday night
Wild weather has been forecast throughout the state, with a severe thunderstorm hitting Melbourne’s eastern suburbs on Sunday evening, prompting an emergency warning as golf-ball-sized hail damaged cars and cancelled events.
An emergency warning asking residents to move indoors was issued about 4.45pm on Sunday for Melbourne city, Caulfield, Glen Waverley, Altona, and waters off Sandringham and Williamstown.
Meanwhile, 7000 punters saw how the Red Hot Summer Tour at Mornington Racecourse was cancelled amid fears of safety over hail and lightning.
Central Victoria’s town of Broadford recorded 50mm of rainfall in 45 minutes, and bushfire-ravaged parts of Victoria could now face the possibility of flash flooding as the state is expecting its wettest two-day period in months.
Heavy rain, damaging winds and large hail are possible in eastern parts of the state including East Gippsland where fires continue to burn.
A severe weather warning was put in place on Sunday at 6pm for heavy rainfall expected to develop across the state on Monday morning.
The Victorian fires devastated East Gippsland (pictured) and prompted Australia’s biggest ever peace time evacuation
Thick smoke from the East Gippsland fire blanketing an open plain near Sarsfield in Victoria in January
Firefighters have been aided by rain events throughout the eastern part of the country, but the intense storms are providing a new challenge, with many regions subject to extreme flooding. Pictured: a firefighter rushes back to his truck in Mount Adrah in January
‘Widespread falls of 10-30mm are forecast for the warning area, with isolated falls of 60-80mm associated with thunderstorm activity,’ the warning read.
Across other parts of the state, widespread falls of 20-50mm are forecast with peak falls to 100mm possible. Much of the rainfall is expected to pour in periods of 4 to 6 hours.
‘We’re going to see some potentially flash flooding and severe thunderstorms over the next couple of days, including some damaged fire areas,’ Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville warned.
‘Victoria is about to see its wettest two-day period in many, many months,’ Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Narramore said.
While rain was welcome in the state did come with dangers.
‘Unfortunately coming in this massive amount in one go, quickly does cause some risk … both in how you capture most of that … and also debris run-off and the potential for fallen trees,’ the emergency services minister said.
The dangerous conditions come as firefighters work to contain a blaze at French Island at Western Port which started on Saturday.
The raging fire is burning out-of-control on French Island (pictured), with residents told to evacuate before it’s too late
More than 87 hectares was destroyed but only one outbuilding was damaged but the blaze did come very close to homes, authorities confirmed.
‘Basically the fire on French Island did move very rapidly yesterday. We basically got large air tankers in there quickly. We actually had to take fire trucks across on a barge,’ Deputy Emergency Management Commissioner Chris Stephenson said.
‘The news this morning is quite good and we hope we will contain that fire sometime later today.’
The cause of the blaze is still unknown.
Across the state 396 homes have been destroyed in bushfires across the state and more than 600 outbuildings including sheds were also razed.
In the past week more than 223 blazes started in Victoria and of those 20 were classed as ‘significant’ and burned more than 50 hectares.
AUSTRALIA’S BUSHFIRE CRISIS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Evacuations are underway and emergency alerts are in place in NSW, Victoria and South Australia as authorities predict the devastating bushfires will continue burning until at least March.
At least 28 people have been killed in blazes across the country since the bushfire season began in October.
NEW SOUTH WALES/ACT
- Around 90 fires were burning in NSW on Thursday morning
- 20 people dead
- More than 5.2 million hectares burned – equal to the metro areas of the five mainland state capitals
- 1,870 homes confirmed destroyed, more than 3,774 outbuildings and 200 facilities razed
- 19 bushfires burning in the Gippsland, northeast and alpine regions as of Thursday morning
- Five people dead
- More than 1.5 million hectares burnt
- 387 homes have been damaged or destroyed
- 602 non-residential structures have also been damaged
- Three people, including two from Kangaroo Island, are dead
- More than 274,000 hectares burnt
- 161 homes confirmed destroyed, along with 413 sheds and outhouses
- 2.5 million hectares burnt
- 48 homes confirmed destroyed
- 1.5 million hectares burned
- One home confirmed destroyed
- 30,000 hectares burned
- Two homes confirmed destroyed
- Five homes confirmed destroyed