Bushfires are raging across Victoria as the state battles an extreme heatwave which has seen temperatures soar upwards of 45C.
On Saturday, around 300 blazes broke out in Melbourne in Wandin North as well as in regional areas in Victoria such as Scotsburn, south of Ballarat.
Scotsburn was the most heavily affected area with more than 4,000 hectares burnt, claiming eight properties so far. Around 50 fire crews and four air tankers were attending to the Scotsburn fires which were still burning 10pm on Saturday night.
Authorities are still investigating the cause of the Scotsburn fires with the possibility that slash and burn farming — where natural vegetation is burned to clear land for cultivation — instigated the fires.
The highest temperatures were recorded at Avalon, which reached 45.1C after 3pm on Saturday while Melbourne saw temperatures of up to 41.2C.
Relief centres have been set up at the Mechanics Institute and Buninyong Town Hall for those affected by the Scotsburn fires while another at the The Cube in Wodonga has been opened for those impacted by the Barnawartha fires.
Although a cool change came in yesterday afternoon, the CFA has announced a total fire ban across Victoria with areas such as Scotsburn, Buxton, Lorne and East Gippsland still facing troubling heat conditions.
Meanwhile, NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) has declared eight total fire bans in southern NSW and ACT as hot weather conditions from Victoria and South Australia continue to move east.
All information on emergency areas can be found at Vic Emergency.
UPDATE: An emergency warning has been issued for Indigo Valley, Indigo Upper and Barnawartha where a fire is moving south-east towards Indigo Valley. It is too late to leave with residents being advised to stay indoors for the time being. 26 vehicles are currently attending to the fire but it is not yet under control.
— CFA Updates (@CFA_Updates) December 20, 2015
Here’s a look at some of the fires below.
Watch and act warning issued for a number of bushfires South of Ballarat. pic.twitter.com/s8kr5CTAzD
— Matthew Dixon (@matthewdixon23) December 19, 2015
— kaynerichens (@kaynerichens) December 19, 2015
— Gordon's alive?! (@gordonkerry) December 20, 2015
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