At least nine people have died since Christmas Day, and the RFS is urging people to evacuate the New South Wales South Coast before dangerous conditions on the weekend. Follow the live news and latest updates today
Andy Gillem, the Gippsland incident controller, says there are 900 people are working north of Bairnsdale, including towns like Clifton Creek, which was heavily impacted by the fires.
He says there are active fires in the Swift’s Creek Valley, and another creeping towards Ensay, the bottom of Mount Hotham and the Omeo area.
A briefing has begun in Bairnsdale in East Gippsland.
There are 50 fires burning throughout the state, says Tony Murphy, the deputy emergency management Victoria commissioner.
Things are looking very difficult in Narooma.
Last night we queued for 5 hours in Narooma to get fuel. As far as I know the business owners organised a generator themselves. It took hours to get it working. They closed at midnight with many unhappy people not getting fuel. @abcnews #nswfires pic.twitter.com/pQCQeR7RnC
Here is the top 10 cities with the worst air quality in the world. At 10am, Canberra again has topped the list.
Sydney is in 34th place.
It looks like lots of people are heeding the advice of authorities telling people to get out of the NSW south coast in the next 24 hours.
I have received two separate emails from people telling me that the residents in the small NSW community of Tumbarumba have been advised to evacuate the town ahead of Saturday.
Fire crews have told residents they can’t guarantee the safety of those in the town with fierce winds predicted. There is currently no phone coverage or electricity.
Two readers have told me people in the small NSW town of Tumbarumba have been also been told to get out before Saturday. Roads to the east, south and north currently blocked by fire. These fires are separate to those along the South Coast. #nswfires pic.twitter.com/R0txqRtLHO
Yesterday, the air quality in Canberra was at one point the worst of any city in the world.
Joined a long ( but fruitless) line waiting for the hardware store to open in Canberra this morning on the search for P2 masks. Hardware guy: “you won’t find one in Canberra, or Goulburn for that matter”
Yesterday, residents in the isolated community of Cann River were expressing concern about food shortages and other supply issues. Some told media they felt they were being forgotten.
The town is along the Princes Highway between Orbost and Mallacoota and has been cut off due to the fires.
But Constance adds, “once this (the fires) all goes, please come back”.
Tourism is crucial to communities on the south coast, which rely on the extra business during the holiday period.
The NSW transport minister, Andrew Constance, is appearing on the ABC right now from the fire-impacted community of Batemans Bay.
He advises that the Princes Highway is currently open to the north, allowing people to reach Sydney. To get to Canberra, they will have to go through Bega.
Some more on the prime minister’s activities today.
This was the scene at Narooma yesterday.
The Victorian Premier @DanielAndrewsMP has told ABC Gippsland a naval ship will soon arrive in the bushfire-affected town of Mallacoota. He says details of the evacuation are still being worked out #gippsnews #vicfires
The ABC has published this story saying that 250 truck drivers and holidaymakers are stranded at a remote roadhouse on the Nullarbor as a result of out-of-control bushfires.
The Caiguna Roadhouse, which is 400km east of Norseman along the Eyre Highway, is now running out of toilet paper, beer and essential food items. The highway joins Western Australia and South Australia.
We start the day with some sad news.
The number of homes destroyed on the south coast after fires hit communities on Tuesday has risen from 176 to 381. This is a result of authorities returning to towns to assess the damage.
BREAKING: The number of homes destroyed by bushfires on the NSW South Coast has jumped from 176 to 381. Total number of homes lost in this bushfire crisis climbs to 1298. Devastating. #NSWfires #AustralianFires @BreakfastNews
Tourist Leave Zone – South Coast Bush Fires
Dangerous conditions for holiday makers on the South Coast of NSW this weekend
Good morning. I’m Luke Henriques-Gomes. Thanks for joining us for another day of live bushfire coverage.
Yesterday, the death toll rose as it was confirmed nine people have died since Christmas Day. But authorities are already warning that figure will rise when they are able to enter more communities devastated by the fires on Tuesday.