Five buildings have been destroyed in bushfires burning out of control in eastern Victoria and the fire crisis escalated.
Three buildings have been destroyed by the Bunyip fire, including two homes in the Garfield North area, near the Bunyip State Park, south-east of Melbourne. Hot temperatures and strong winds challenge firefighters battling the blazes. "It's a dangerous time, putting it bluntly, not just for communities but for firefighters," Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said. "It gets to a point where we're not prepared to put our firefighters in danger," he added.
The latest fire emergency warnings for the Bunyip blaze cover a large area and take in about 30 communities including Bunyip, Cornucopia, Garfield, Garfield North, Gentle Annie, Labertouche, Drouin and Jindivick. The fire has already burned through almost 6,300 hectares. Another emergency warning issued at 9:00am remains current for the other main fire at Budgeree and Yinnar South. An emergency warning is also current for Dargo, in Victoria's far east. Another fire continues to burn at Licola in the Alpine National Park. The power transmission lines to Melbourne which could be in the path of the fire. Mr Crisp said the battle to fight the fires would likely continue for a number of days.