[WED Jan 1 – UPDATE: I am away with the CFA at present and not in a position to update this page until further notice so please don’t rely on it for updates – please check the relevant government agency websites which you will find if you scroll down. Thanks]
There are some links on how to support recovery and emergency efforts available here.
And I’m still doing some updates on the Mountain Journal facebook page, mostly around park and road closures.
[Monday December 30 2019]
Here we go. We have a long, hot, scary day ahead of us, with extreme fire risk across all mountain areas.
In Victoria, authorities are calling on all people in East Gippsland (east of Bairnsdale) to leave the area, in case the Princes Highway needs to be closed. Mountain communities like Goongerah are at imminent risk of being hit by fires. The W Tree Yalmy fire is still not yet under control, nor is the Ensay Ferntree fire. Firefighters and aircraft are responding to four new fires north-west of Gelantipy which were started by dry lightning earlier his morning.
In NSW there has already been at least one small fire started by dry lightning in the Snowy Mountains (it is under control).
In Tasmania, today is a Day of Total Fire Ban, but authorities warn that tomorrow could be even worse, and that people in bushland areas should consider leaving for urban areas.
In Victoria, check Emergency Victoria for updates on fires. It is a day of total fire ban across the state (no naked flames allowed outdoors). Check the Parks VIC website for details on possible closure of parks.
The Age is live blogging updates on the fires.
In Victoria, note that the area that has been closed extends almost up to Omeo and that the Great Alpine Road is closed in the fire area. Major routes through the mountains (Bonang Hwy and the road along the Snowy River north from Buchan are also closed). An emergency warning has been issued for Suggan Buggan. As of 1pm Monday, the Princes Highway is closed between Cann River and Genoa, due to increased fire activity in East Gippsland.
Further road closures will be added to the VicRoads website as needed.
(2pm): A Watch and Act has been issued for Bendoc, Bonang, Cabanandra, Deddick Valley, Delegate River, Dellicknora, Roaring Camp, Tubbut, Wulgulmerang, Wulgulmerang East. CFA say ‘Don’t wait, leaving now is the safest option’.
A small fire near Crooked River Track, Wongungarra, is under control (10am).
In NSW, check the Rural Fire Service website for updates.
It is a declared Total Fire Ban day in the Alpine and Monaro areas.
In Tasmania, check the Tasmania Fire Service website for updates.
Thunder storms (which may include dry lightning strikes) are approaching Tasmania from the west. These may cause problems this afternoon. Details here.