Authorities brace for the worst – 3PM FRIDAY, JAN 3

CFA

UPDATE ON BELOW INFORMATION AT 3.30PM

VicEmergency has issued a ‘Evacuate Now’ warning if you are located in Abbeyard, Bennies, Cheshunt, Cheshunt South, Dandongadale, Edi, Edi Upper, King Valley, Rose River, Whitfield, Whitlands and surrounding areas.

There are multiple bushfires burning in the Abbeyard area that are not yet under control.

Victoria Police are supporting evacuations in the area from 4 pm today January 3, 2020.

However, you cannot rely on emergency services to evacuate you.

Fire weather on Saturday is predicted to be extreme creating fire storm conditions which may not be survivable.

This warning is current to 10 am tomorrow 4th January.

Evacuation after this time is considered life threatening.

After 10 am tomorrow 4th January, it may be too late to leave.

Shelter indoors when the fire arrives – protect yourself from the radiant heat.

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EMERGENCY relief centres have been established throughout Wangaratta due to the extreme threat of fires throughout the North-East.

At 3pm Friday VicEmergency had issued ‘evacuate now’ warnings for Corryong regions as well ‘watch and act’ messages for Whitfield and Abbeyard areas.

CFA District 23 Commander Trevor Logan said if you believe you’re under threat you should leave the area and that conditions for Saturday were expected to be highly dangerous.

“We haven’t got any active fires threatening townships at the moment but that may change with the winds we’re expecting for Friday night,” he told the Wangaratta Chronicle early Friday afternoon.

He said crews from Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVIC) and CFA had been working to contain fires in Whitfield.

“They’re the ones that are presenting the most potential hazard for us, we’re expecting 70kmh winds through that area tonight,” he said.

“We have three crews down there from Moyhu-Whitfield assisting.”

Mr Logan said due to the potential for the fires to spread and cause new outbreaks an incident management team would be in place tomorrow and cited the change in weather conditions on Sunday may do little to ease the situation.

“It’ll certainly provide relief in regards to the temperature but with the wind change we are predicting that any fires that aren’t tamed will take off in the other direction,” he said.

Mr Logan said a 24 hour command centre had been set up at the Wangaratta CFA headquarters to deal with resource requests for vehicles and personnel throughout bushfire affected areas.

Emergency relief centres have been set up at the Wangaratta Performing Arts & Convention Centre and will be open 24 hours a day to register as an evacuee go to https://register.redcross.org.au/.

Relief centres are also open at the Wangaratta Livestock Exchange for horses, cattle and alpacas and the Wangaratta Showgrounds for smaller livestock.

Total fire bans are in place throughout the North-East today and will continue tomorrow.

For up-to-date fire information go the VicEmergency website https://www.emergency.vic.gov.au


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