Two major bushfires surrounding the NSW-Victorian border may combine into one giant mega blaze as residents are warned to evacuate immediately amid horror weekend weather predictions.
Authorities are concerned a fire at Corryong in Victoria's northeast could merge with another on NSW's southern border, with residents being door-knocked and told to leave the region before the weekend.
A series of community meetings were held on Thursday in Mallacoota, in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, where 3000 to 4000 people remain stranded.
The Navy began evacuating Mallacoota on Friday morning, with about 1000 people needing to leave.
So far the fires have burnt more than 784,000 hectares in Victoria and four million hectares in NSW.
The NSW RFS alerted residents via Twitter on Friday of the threat imminently being posed by several fires in Greater Sydney.
“Fire Spread Prediction for Sat 4 Jan 2020 Dangerous fires in Shoalhaven, South Coast, Snowy Mountains & areas surrounding Greater Sydney,” the tweet read.
“You should not be in potential spread areas or potential ember attack areas on Saturday.”
They also shared a map with multiple red zones identifying areas currently burning and expected to burn, including a blaze burning into NSW from Victoria towards the fire near the town of Bega.
In the coming 24 hours, authorities are concerned strong north westerly wind will push the Corryong fire even further north and into the fire burning in the southern part of NSW, where the Dunns Road fire has burned 130,000 hectares.
Tallangatta, local incident controller Leith McKenzie urged residents to “get out now”, fearing the two fires would “suck each other in”, according to ABC News.
His main concern was the Corryong fire merging with the East Gippsland blaze, and other fires in the Victorian Alpine region near Bright.
On Friday, that fire bore down on Batlow, where its 1300 residents were demanded to leave by Thursday night.
Bushfires have raged in several states for months and have killed at least 19 people and destroyed at least 1400 homes.
Almost 30 people are unaccounted for in Victoria and the army is evacuating people from the state's east.
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