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13 Jan 2020 | 05:24 AM UTC

Australia: Fresh emergency warnings issued in Victoria January 13 /update 31

Officials issue new emergency warnings in Victoria state on January 13; rain expected to ease fire condition over the coming days

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AUS

Event

New emergency fire warnings have been issued in Noorinbee (Victoria state) on Monday, January 13, as 19 active fires were still reported across the state as of 20:30 (local time).

In New South Wales (NSW), the Rural Fire Service (NSW RFS) has reported around 104 ongoing fires at the "advice" level across the state, 36 of which are burning uncontrolled as of 20:30. The Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) have forecast heavy rain and thundershowers to fall on most of NSW on Thursday, January 16, with up to 25mm (1 in) of rainfall expected along the South Coast. The rain, expected to ease the bushfire crisis in the coming days, could however trigger landslides across the state.

In Southern Australia (SA), at least 17 ongoing fire are reported Kangaroo Island, where significant power outages are still impacting around 600 properties.

A heightened security presence, road closures, telecommunication disruptions, and power outages are to be expected in the vicinity of any wildfire. Up-to-date information on the fires in NSW can be found here, in SA here, and in Victoria here. 

Context

Over 10.3 million hectares (25.5 million acres) of land have been burned, and at least 2000 houses destroyed since the wildfires broke out on October 9. At least 28 people have also died in the region as of January 13. Authorities have indicated that the fires were due to high temperatures and droughts.

Wildfires are an annual event in Australia between December and February; however, authorities have been on high alert since September 2015 over unseasonably warm temperatures, prompting scientists to speculate that climate change could be extending and increasing the intensity of the fire season.

Advice

Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, keep abreast of warnings, anticipate transportation and power disruptions, and adhere to any instructions issued by local authorities, notably evacuation orders.