Scorching conditions across Melbourne’s south-eastern suburbs has made firefighters unable to control a fire that started on a nature reserve next to a golf course.
Residents of Cheltenham, a suburb only 18 kilometres from the CBD, have been warned by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) that they may soon need to evacuate.
Beaumaris, Black Rock and Mentone have also been issued with a “Watch and Act” message.
“Residents between Park Road and Weatherall Road need to move back two streets,” Vic Emergency warned.
“Glebe Ave residents should prepare to evacuate.
“If you live directly next to grassland quickly move two or more streets away from the fire. Grass fires are unlikely to spread past the first row of houses.
“If your home is surrounded by grasslands, and you are not in an estate, you should immediately shelter within your home. It is not safe for you to leave.”
Crews are currently battling a large grass fire in #Cheltenham. The blaze is travelling in a southerly direction and residents are advised to avoid Park Rd and Charman Rd. Pic via @jekearsley. pic.twitter.com/d5Qdw1KBp3
— MFB (@MFB_NEWS) December 27, 2017
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Brendan Angwin said the fire started in the nature fauna reserve and spread to grassland.
He said he blaze had burnt about 5 or 6 hectares and there were no reports of any lost structures. He said the fire was close to being contained.
“It burned up to the back of the school, it damaged some fences at the rear of Glebe Ave but firefighters with the support of helicopters have done an extremely good job to check this fire,” he said.
“I believe it did burn through some of the grassland in the cemetery.”
Victorian Police Inspector Bruce Kitchen said about 40 houses were evacuated as a precaution, but the residents should be able to return home this evening if the blaze is under control.
“This could have been quite devastating if we hadn’t acted quick enough and it’s just a reminder to be mindful and careful in this sort of weather,” he said.
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