State of disaster extended in Victoria State
January 9, 2020 4:28 pm
Authorities are concerned new blazes could start as the weather changes. [Source: ABC News]
Residents in the path of wildfires razing southeast Australia have been urged to evacuate if they don’t intend to defend their homes.
This, as hot and windy conditions are forecast to escalate the danger over the next two days.
In Victoria State, fire-threatened populations were urged to act quickly on evacuation warnings.
Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews announced that the state of disaster declared in parts of Victoria has been extended as fire conditions are forecast to worsen in coming days.
“The reason I’ve done that is that we have forecast conditions of extreme danger. Very significant fire activity is likely off the back of a hot day today, a hot day tomorrow and a change not coming through in the east of the state till late afternoon tomorrow and in the northern part of the state, not until the evening on Saturday. This means that we have every reason to believe there will be significant fire activity over the next 48 hours.”
Andrews says the declaration, which increases government and agency powers to move people out of affected regions, will continue for East Gippsland and the northeast.
The Wonboyn area in southern New South Wales is thought to be one of the hardest hit by the blazes in recent days.
“We can’t guarantee your safety and we don’t want to be putting emergency services, whether it be volunteers or paid staff, we do not want to be putting them in harm’s way because people didn’t follow advice that was given. It is really important that no one be complacent. We have had a few more moderate days, but we are in for some very, very challenging high fire danger weather.”
The unprecedented fire crisis in southeast Australia has claimed at least 26 lives since September, destroyed more than 2,000 homes and shrouded major cities in smoke.