Victorian fires: Corryong, alpine region residents told to evacuate
Residents living in and around Corryong have been urged to leave now, with a fire along the NSW border expected to create fire storm conditions by Saturday.
Authorities have asked anyone in Biggara, Tintaldra, Towong, Towong Upper, Walwa and surrounding areas to evacuate immediately.
The best route is to travel west on the Murray Valley Highway toward Corryong and Tallangatta,
A second large fire in the west has also triggered evacuation noticed for Nariel Valley, Lucyvale, Berringama, Koetong, Shelley, Burrowye.
Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to this morning reveal where evacuees must go as towns brace for a difficult day of high temperatures and northerly winds.
The government has declared a state of disaster as authorities urged people near fires East Gippsland and the state’s north east to get out immediately.
Emergency services have identified Wodonga and Wangaratta as defendable and have urged Victorians in evacuation zones to flee to built-up areas.
Evacuation centres have been set up at the Performing Arts Centre and HP Barr Reserve in Wangaratta and the The Cube in Wodonga.
Relief centres are also open at Corryong High School and Tallangatta Memorial Hall.
Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville told 3AW more fires could be sparked by lightning today while a south-westerly wind change could later create massive fire fronts.
“The chances are that it joins with the NSW fire,” she said.
“Eventually it will all be one.
“If you can get out (evacuate) absolutely go and go early.”
9am UPDATE from State Control Centre:
2 confirmed deaths
17 residents missing
785,000 hectares burn
1000+ firefighters on duty
(39 US firefighters arrived yesterday. 71 more next week)
TWO emergency warnings in northeast
12 Watch & Act warnings#vicfires @theheraldsun
— Ian Royall 🏍 (@IanRoyall) January 2, 2020
Police are on hand in both regions to help people as they leave.
Authorities fear fires in the region could merge with those across the border in New South Wales if they continue to burn as predicted.
The fires ravaging East Gippsland and the state’s northeast have now ripped through more than 785,000 hectares.
More than 1000 firefighters continue to battle the infernos, with 48 fires burning out of control this morning.
Twelve watch and act warnings are in place.
Today 66 aircraft are available around the state to help conduct water bombing and intelligence gathering.
The State Control Centre said that the key priority was providing access and services to those isolated by the bushfires as soon as possible.
Seventeen people are still missing this morning.
People have started to arrive at Bastion Point in Mallacoota as the mass evacuation of the town begins.
The first two boats left the wharf by 8.40am.
Those being evacuated first included families with young children and people with pets.
They will be taken to a smaller ship before the majority of people are ferried to HMAS Choules.
Up to 50 people were also flown out yesterday.
Jill Heslop and Judy Jarvis said they were relieved to be leaving.
“We are just glad to be getting out,” Ms Heslop said.
“The fire might come back. It’s been traumatic.”
“Operation Southern Discovery” will see 1000 people evacuated from the
Residents and holiday makers will make their way to the wharf at Bastion Point and be ferried across to HMAS Choules in smaller boats.
The town was covered in thick smoke on Friday morning and conditions are tipped to get worse over the weekend with the mercury to hit 41 in the town.
PRIME MINISTER RECEIVES A FROSTY WELCOME
The Prime Minister has visited fire-ravaged Cobargo in NSW, and received a less than pleasant welcome from some locals.
Angry Cobargo residents have unleashed at the Prime Minister as he visited the bushfire affected region.
Originally published as Alpine region residents urged to evacuate, State of Disaster declared