Bushfire crisis claims another life as firefighter dies in Victoria

The death toll from Victoria's bushfire crisis has risen to four after a firefighter died battling a blaze in the state's Alpine region.

The Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighter from Parks Victoria was killed while battling a blaze in the Omeo area on Saturday, Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp confirmed.

A firefighter has died while battling a bushfire in the Omeo area. Pictured is the sky turning red from the fires in Omeo on January 04, 2020 in Double Bridges, Australia.
A firefighter has died in the Omeo area in Victoria's Alpine region. The sky turns red from the fires in Omeo last Saturday in Double Bridges. Source: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

"Family and fellow emergency personnel are being informed and will be supported," Forest Fires Management Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman said in a statement.

"The safety and wellbeing of our people is our highest priority."

The firefighter's death will be investigated by Victoria Police who will prepare a report for the coroner.

It comes after another Forest Fires Management worker Mat Kavanagh, 43, died on duty when his vehicle crashed on the Goulburn Valley Highway on January 3.

Mick Roberts from Buchan and Maramingo Creek man Fred Becker were also killed in the fires at East Gippsland on New Year's Day.

Flash flooding risk in bushfire-affected areas

While wet weather means relief for exhausted firefighters, the reprieve means fresh complications.

"We have got to be conscious for the potential for flash flooding and that's dangerous for our firefighters on the ground," Mr Crisp told the ABC.

Jonathan Howe, from the Bureau Of Meteorology, said there had been rain through Victoria and NSW.

But it was only about 5mm to 10mm in most areas, well below what is needed to end the bushfire crisis.

Mr Howe said the bushfire damage added to the risk of flooding when the rain comes.

"With the little bit of rainfall, it can make access to the fire sites more difficult for firefighters – it is a bit of a double-edged sword," he said.

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