Residents in three communities on Victoria’s Surf Coast have been warned to evacuate their homes by 10:00am amid fears bushfires will flare again in hot and windy conditions later today.
A fire which destroyed dozens of homes over Christmas at Wye River and Separation Creek is still burning out of control on the Great Ocean Road, and residents in Kennett River, Grey River and Wongarra have been warned to leave, with hot northerly winds expected.
The “recommendation to evacuate” was issued by the Country Fire Authority (CFA), with temperatures expected to peak at 39 degrees Celsius later today ahead of a windy change.
The fire is currently in the Great Otway National Park (The Otways), just outside Kennett River in inhospitable terrain.
Five hundred firefighters are on standby with 20 more from New Zealand arriving to help in the next week.
By late yesterday many residents of Kennett River had already left.
Most residents said they knew this day could come and were well prepared to leave.
The CFA has declared a day of total fire ban for much of the state. A watch and act alert has been issued for the Wye River and Separation Creek fire.
The fire has grown by 500 hectares in the past few days to 2,800 hectares.
Late yesterday the CFA’s Joe Buffone said Victorians needed to act early and make sure they were not trapped on the roads during bushfires.
“So we’re asking all Victorians to be vigilant tomorrow, to apply common sense, to go out and enjoy themselves tomorrow but please make sure you apply some common sense when it comes to fire,” he said.