Residents in a town north west of Melbourne have been told it’s “too late to leave” their homes as a “fast moving” grassfire rages out of control.
A new emergency warning was issued at 2.18am on Wednesday for Flowerdale, about 95 kilometres outside of Melbourne, after the fire first broke out on Tuesday.
“If you have not already left, the time to safely evacuate has now passed,” Emergency Victoria wrote online. “Take shelter immediately. It is now too dangerous to leave.”
‘Act now to protect yourself’
With four warnings currently in place for the region, residents are being told to “act now” to protect themselves as the grassfire travels in a northerly direction from Flowerdale towards Yea, having crossed Carver Creek.
Emergency Victoria is encouraging locals to bring all pets indoors, close all exterior doors, windows and vents, turn off cooling systems, and to take shelter before the fire arrives.
“Grassfires can generate extreme heat.,” the organisation warned. “[The] heat will kill you before the flames reach you."
All homes saved so far
As of 10.30 last night, the blaze had grown to more than 660 hectares in size, according to the State Control Centre.
“More than 50 Country Fire Authority units have responded to the incident since it was first reported at 2:40pm yesterday,” a spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia on Wednesday morning.
“Forest Fire Management crews have also been supporting. There's also been a significant response from our aerial firefighting appliances to support the ground crews, and they've undertaken aerial water bombing overnight.”
At this stage there are no confirmed loss of homes, in part due to the early asset protection by firefighters. However, there are impacts to fencing and sheds but the extent of the damage is not yet known.
For the latest information, people are encourage to check Emergency Victoria's website.
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