Fires surrounding Greater Sydney: This map displays the predicted fire spread for NYE. The map indicates the communities that are expected to come under threat from embers or fire fronts. Other areas surrounding the fire may still come under threat if conditions change #NSWRFS
More than 30,000 tourists in Australia who defied orders to leave area east of Melbourne amid raging bushfires are 'TRAPPED'
More than 30,000 tourists in Australia who refused to evacuate an area east of Melbourne amid raging bushfires are now 'trapped' after locals warned earlier that staying would be 'suicide'. Hundreds of blazes are burning across Australia, which is experiencing a devastating summer bushfire season fuelled by a prolonged drought and climate change. Hundreds of thousands were told to evacuate Victoria state's popular East Gippsland region on Sunday amid fears soaring temperatures and gusting winds would stoke three large blazes, cutting off the last major road still open. Emergencies chief Andrew Crisp told residents and holidaymakers to leave by 9am Monday or risk getting stranded, before giving an update later in the day saying it is now 'too late' to get out safely. His agency has also warned it is 'not possible' to provide aid to all visitors. Meanwhile, residents in northern Melbourne were told to 'act immediately to survive' as out-of-control wildfires bore down on the suburb of Bundoora. Daily Mail
Ash falling on the streets of Melbourne
Strong winds could fan flames in Melbourne A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said strong winds would continue to affect the Melbourne metro area into the night: Wind Change Chart has been updated, see above. The line of storms moving through Melbourne now. BOM
The massive fires are creating thunderstorm clouds capable of producing dry lightning
Some of Australia's most devastating bushfires have fuelled their own fury by creating thunderstorm clouds capable of producing dry lightning, violent winds, black hail and even a fire tornado. The unpredictable changes brought on by the storms can be extremely dangerous, and make fighting fires even harder. ABC
Emergency warnings for fires in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
Bushfire emergency in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia as out-of-control blaze threatens Melbourne homes. Out-of-control bushfire damages homes in Melbourne's north as East Gippsland blazes intensify. Power cut to 10,000 homes amid bushfires, dust storms and lightning in SA. The weather deteriorates, Western Sydney tipped to hit +40C amid more fire warnings A firefighter has died and another two have suffered burns when their truck rolled while they were battling the Green Valley bushfire near Jingellic, 70 kilometres east of Albury near the New South Wales-Victoria border. There are several emergency warnings for fires in Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
50 to 100 endangered species that have been severely impacted
The country is in the midst of a wildlife catastrophe. "Australia had the worst mammal extinction rate on Earth long before this fire and drought," he said. The threatened tiger quoll was another species that the fires would have hammered. "This entire fire range is tiger quoll habitat. They will have been annihilated. "You're talking probably 50 to 100 endangered species that have been severely impacted." Some of the other threatened species known to live in the national parks include the squirrel glider, grey-headed flying-fox, regent honeyeater, Grey-crowned babbler, speckled warbler, brown treecreeper, broad-headed snake, black-chinned honeyeater, masked owl, barking owl, turquoise parrot, east-coast freetail-bat, black bittern and brush-tailed phascogale. The NSW Office of Environment said many wildlife species can endure fires "by maintaining populations in refuge areas or habitats which have not been recently impacted by fire". "The severity of the current bushfires combined with ongoing drought will have an impact on wildlife, including threatened species," a department spokesperson said. Newcastle Herald
480 million animals are feared to have died in the bushfires sweeping Australia
Nearly a third of the koalas in their main habitat of New South Wales may be among the 480 million animals to have died in the Australian bushfires. Ecologists believe that 8,000 koalas have burnt to death on the state’s mid-north coast, about 240 miles north of Sydney. The site, one of the most populous koala habitats, was ravaged along with a leading hospital for the marsupials at Port Macquarie. “It may well be up to 30 per cent of the population in that region [was killed] because up to 30 per cent of their habitat has been destroyed,” Sussan Ley, the federal environment minister, said. More than five million hectares have been burnt across Australia in an unprecedented bushfire season, The Times
"Over the weekend the heat will build over Victoria and New South Wales, gradually reaching all the way to the Sydney area by Monday," he said. "Temperatures and the fire threat will increase as we head through the weekend, with the worst conditions expected for the fire-plagued areas of eastern New South Wales on Monday and Tuesday." Melbourne, capital of Victoria state, could hit 41 Celsius (105.8 Fahrenheit), on Monday, the BOM said on its website.