03/10/2020

Firefighters are bracing for the creation of a mega blaze as horrific conditions were expected to see several bushfires merge in NSW and Victoria on Friday night.

He said that despite possible rainfall of 10mm, it was “highly likely” dozens of fires in eastern Victoria would merge.
People in Victoria’s alpine region were told on Friday afternoon they had just hours to leave; after 7.50pm, it would be too late as a cool change brought strong south-westerly winds to the region.
“Evacuation after this time is considered life threatening,” the VicEmergency warning read.
“Shelter indoors when the fire arrives – protect yourself from the radiant heat.”
In NSW, five fires in the Snowy Valley were elevated to the watch-and-act alert level on Friday afternoon as hot, dry and windy conditions moved through the state’s south.
Two new fires were also sparked by lightning in the Blue Mountains and in the state’s north near Bugaldie.
“Firefighters have done a lot of work over the past seven days to prepare for today’s bad fire weather, and we can’t guarantee that fires will hold,” Monaro Rural Fire Service public liaison officer Andrew Dillon said.
“Fires in forested country, in the tall timber, they will run today, and they will get up and lift in activity, so people need to be prepared.”
Windy conditions on Kangaroo Island on Thursday night saw further lost property and injured firefighters in the fires that have torn through over 170,000 hectares of the island.
A bushfire also threatened homes in Hobart on Thursday night, and authorities said that the two blazes that sparked the fire were intentionally lit.
So far, 26 people and an estimated one billion animals have died this fire season. More than 10 million hectares have burned across the country.
Power market players were holding their breath on Friday as wind-fanned bushfires threatened electricity transmission lines south of the Snowy Mountains to Victoria, posing the risk of cutting the connection between Victoria and NSW for the second time in a week.
Snowy Hydro chief executive Paul Broad said that while the company’s generating plants in the region did not appear to be under threat, he was concerned about the bushfire threat to power connections to the south of the region later on Friday.
“We think we’re in pretty good shape, we’re not jumpy,” Mr Broad told AFR Weekend. “The real risk is to transmission going south.”
AusNet Services, owner of the transmission system in Victoria, is keeping a close eye on the situation, a spokesman said.
With AAP.