Extreme heat, ongoing fire threat has authorities urging community vigilance

AUTHORITIES have warned that it is vital for the community to closely watch and monitor fire conditions as temperatures soar today and tomorrow.

A total fire ban is in place for the North East today as the mercury rises to an expected high of 41 degrees, with Saturday forecast to be even hotter at 43 degrees.

Wangaratta-based CFA District 23 commander Paul Horton yesterday implored people to be very in-tune to the weather conditions.

The warning came as VicEmergency issued a watch and act message yesterday for areas including Abbeyard, Falls Creek and Mount Buffalo with multiple bushfires burning in Abbeyard and Wongungarra.

The warning stated the fires were travelling in a north-easterly direction towards multiple communities and warned that leaving is the safest option while emergency services may not be able to assist residents who decide to stay.

Mr Horton said Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMVIC) teams were working hard to contain the fires yesterday and will be supported by CFA crews.

“Those fires are almost contained by FFMVIC, however, we are looking to support those crews and communities across the weekend pending the weather forecast,” Mr Horton said.

The Great Alpine Road could be impacted or closed and the Buffalo National Park has remained closed as of yesterday.

Authorities have advised to keep checking CFA website for updates, download the VicEmergency app, monitor local radio stations and visit traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au for road closure updates.

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