Victoria fires: Emergency warnings issued, haze returns as bushfires flare up


Two bushfires are burning at emergency level in Victoria, despite milder conditions with temperatures forecast to remain between the 20Cs and the low 30Cs.

One emergency warning remained in place in Victoria’s northeast overnight, about 8km east of Abbeyard.

Residents in Bennies, Cheshunt South, Markous, Rose River, Top Crossing and Wabonga have been told to flee before conditions become too dangerous.

Early this morning, an emergency warning was issued for an east Gippsland fire, with people in Tamboon, Tamboon South and Furnell urged to leave.

Milder conditions are expected to last throughout the week, with rain developing in the state’s east on Wednesday and extending at least until Saturday.

Fire authorities said that despite the milder conditions, people needed to remain aware of conditions in their area because fires were still active.

“We’ve got fairly benign weather conditions, but we still have very active fires in the landscape and people need to stay across their local conditions,” Emergency Management Victoria Commissioner Andrew Crisp said yesterday.

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media_cameraBurnt-out paddocks on an Omeo farm after a fire razed their land. Picture: Jason Edwards

‘VERY POOR’ AIR AS HAZE RETURNS

Poor and very poor air quality conditions are forecast statewide, with smoke and haze in the east, northeast and central Victoria.

The haze has also returned to the city.

While the air quality was generally good across the state before 8am, the EPA has today predicted very poor air quality in Melbourne, all of Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley, along with the central, north-central and northeast regions.

Poor air quality has been forecast in the Wimmera, Mallee and Geelong, along with the state’s north and southwest.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SMOKE HAZE

DEATH TOLL RISES

The state’s death toll from the fires rose to four with the death of a veteran firefighter.

Veteran firefighter Bill Slade is the latest victim of Victoria’s bushfire fire crisis.pacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Victoria-fires-Emergency-warnings-issued-haze-returns-as-bushfires-flare.webp”/>
media_cameraVeteran firefighter Bill Slade is the latest victim of Victoria’s bushfire fire crisis.

Wonthaggi father of two Bill Slade, 60, was working on the edge of a fire at Anglers Rest, near Omeo, when he was struck by a tree on Saturday.

Mr Slade had worked on major fire incidents in the past, including the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires.

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“Bill was a much loved colleague, friend and member of the Wonthaggi community. He’ll be sorely missed by Parks Victoria,” Parks Victoria chief Matt Jackson said.

Premier Daniel Andrews sent his condolences to Mr Slade’s family on Sunday, stressing how his death showed the fires remain a dangerous environment.

More than 1.3 million hectares have been burnt in Victoria since November 21, while 286 homes and 400 other buildings have been damaged.

The milder conditions offer firefighters an opportunity to strengthen containment lines in fire-ravaged areas.

Originally published as Haze returns as bushfires flare up



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