Hundreds of firefighters are battling multiple bushfires in eastern Victoria.
Emergency services have declared major weather warnings, largely in the Gippsland region. Emergency warnings are also in place in multiple southeastern towns.
In an update on conditions this morning, Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan said “the fire season has come, and it’s come early”.
Emergency warnings in eastern Victoria
A fire in Briagolong, around 240kms east of Melbourne, is burning out of control and travelling towards the Princes Highway.
Emergency services have advised those in the area to shelter indoors, as it’s now too late to leave.
Authorities have urged people in neighbouring areas, such as Stockdale, Iguana Creek and Glenaladale, to leave immediately, warning those residents help may not be able to reach them if they stay.
Another uncontrolled bushfire is burning about four kilometres from Loch Sport in Central Gippsland. It’s moving towards the town and is life-threatening.
It’s now too late to leave. This warning extends to those in the neighbouring town of Seacombe.
Residents in areas close to both of these bushfires in eastern Victoria must prepare to evacuate or leave now.
Authorities say a change in wind direction forecast later today could intensify conditions.
“Once that change does come through, the flanks of the fire will become the front of the fire and that’s why wind changes like that are the most dangerous time for firefighters and communities,” said Jason Heffernan, Chief Fire Officer of the Country Fire Authority.
Allan said emergency services were facing “some really difficult situations at all ends of the state”.