Victorians preparing for state's worst fire danger day in years

victorians preparing for state's worst fire danger day in years

‘Suspicious’ fire destroys reception centre in Melbourne

Victorians are preparing for what is forecast to be the state’s worst fire danger day in four years tomorrow, with catastrophic fire conditions expected.

More than 30,000 residents living in fire-risk zones have been urged to leave their homes in the coming hours as Victoria prepares for the dangerous fire conditions tomorrow.

Half of the state is under an extreme fire danger warning, but in the far west fire district of Wimmera, the conditions for tomorrow have been listed as catastrophic.

For the latest advice and warnings, visit Vic Emergency website

Residents preparing for dangerous conditions

Beaufort is one of the towns in the danger zone.

Resident Barbara Smith and her granddaughter Jana are leaving their dream home and precious memories behind as they move to a safer area.

“It’s pretty horrible, it’s terrible,” Barbara told 9News.

“I’m scared we’re going to lose our house,” Jana added.

victorians preparing for state's worst fire danger day in years

Resident Barbara Smith is preparing to evacuate.

victorians preparing for state's worst fire danger day in years

Her grandaughter Jana said she feared the family would lose their home.

Around 100 schools and childcare centres in the region will be closed along with national parks.

In Halls Gap, the zoo is preparing to evacuate hundreds of animals in the event of an emergency.

Victorian premier Jacinta Allan said the Wimmera was facing a day of catastrophic fire dangerous, while five more districts, including Melbourne, have been classified as extreme.

“Fires will become very uncontrollable very quickly and no homes are designed to withstand those catastrophic conditions,” Allan said.

“It will likely be one of the most dangerous days Victoria has experienced in recent years.”

victorians preparing for state's worst fire danger day in years

Firefighters are preparing for the worst fire day in four years on Wednesday.

Extreme conditions pose ‘significant risk’

The warning comes as a bushfire that started in Bayindeen, near Ballarat on Thursday remains active and not yet under control.

At least six homes have been destroyed by the blaze.

A Watch and Act alert remains in place for Amphitheatre, Bayindeen, Ben Nevis, Chute, Elmhurst, Eversley, Glenlogie, Glenpatrick, Mount Cole, Mount Lonarch, Main Lead, Waterloo and Raglan.

victorians preparing for state's worst fire danger day in years

Firefighters have been working to control a major blaze in Victoria’s west ahead of extreme conditions on Wednesday.

Residents have been told it’s not safe to return and that conditions could change quickly.

Firefighting operations continued overnight as crews battled the Bayindeen-Rocky Road which has grown to nearly 20,000 hectares since it started last week.

Crews are hoping to contain the 17,500-hectare blaze before tomorrow.

Emergency Management Victoria has since issued a warning for everyone located in the area of Ampitheatre, Beaufort, Clunes, Elmhurst, Learmonth, Lexton and surrounds.

A text message has also been sent to 30,000 people who live in the fire impacted zones.

The warning urged residents living in the impacted towns to leave tonight or early tomorrow morning.

victorians preparing for state's worst fire danger day in years

Fire conditions in western Victoria forecast to become catastrophic, residents urged to leave now

“These locations are expected to be impacted by fire, spot fires and ember attacks or the fire may close major roads resulting in isolated communities,” the warning said.

“Do not travel to these areas. Do not wait until the bushfire spreads closer before moving to a safer location.

“The Bayindeen fire could grow significantly and may become uncontrollable. If you do not leave today, you may become isolated and your route to safer locations may be blocked.

“Road closures may occur, including roads that have recently been reopened, if they are threatened or impacted by fire. Do not rely on firefighting crews to protect you and your property.”

victorians preparing for state's worst fire danger day in years

Fire crews are trying to get ahead of hot temperatures expected tomorrow.

victorians preparing for state's worst fire danger day in years

The fire conditions forecast for Victoria on Wednesday.

Heat, wind and dry lighting expected

Temperatures in the mid-40 degree range are forecast for mid-west Victoria tomorrow with the possibility of strong, hot winds, and dry lightning.

Melbourne is set to hit 38 degrees, while Mildura has been forecast to hit 44 degrees.

Emergency Management Commission Rick Nugent said tomorrow’s forecast was the “worst possible fire conditions”.

“Following the heat, there will also be a change with some significant winds that can occur as well,” he said.

“So there will be the risk of trees falling and branches causing damage as well and people need to be mindful of their surroundings.

“You can go to regional cities or if you can go to Melbourne and stay with family and friends

“We have done all we possibly can to prepare for this high-risk weather period. We now ask the community please prepare. Activate your fire, plans make those arrangements, check with your family and friends.”

About 900 firefighters and fire-fighting aircraft have been battling the blazes, and interstate crews have been mobilised to help in Victoria.

A make-shift base camp, just outside Ararat has also been established for firefighters who are assisting from regional areas or interstate.

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