- Fires are creating their own weather, causing thunderstorms and dry lightning
- Thousands of people are trapped on a beach in Victoria's East Gippsland as bushfires close in on Tuesday
- Authorities believe about 4000 people are still at Mallacoota, with many seeking shelter at the beach
- Whole communities cut off
- Towns without safe drinking water
- Western Sydney sweltered through its hottest ever December day on Tuesday, with a peak of 46.3
Day time in Mallacoota.
A mother and her kids are sheltering in their boat on the water near Mallacoota. (Photo: Nicole Asher/ABC Gippsland/Twitter)
Thousands have sought safety in the lake and ocean in a coastal town in Victoria's East Gippsland, fleeing an out-of-control bushfire. Extreme winds and embers have been threatening the CBD and access roads have been cut. The fire had reached the northern end of the town on Tuesday morning and about 4,000 people fled to the coastline, with Country Fire Authority members working to protect them. The town had not been told to evacuate on Sunday when the rest of East Gippsland was, and authorities decided it was too dangerous to move them on Monday.
New South Wales
The Bureau of Meteorology says thunderstorms could make the NSW bushfire situation even worse, adding to soaring temperatures and gusty winds, AAP reports. Thunderstorms forecast to develop in NSW could make an already dangerous bushfire situation even worse, the bureau says. Bureau of Meteorology NSW state manager Jane Golding says the state is experiencing heatwave conditions on Tuesday with soaring temperatures, gusty winds and smoke pollution in many areas. Thunderstorms could exacerbate the situation later on if lightning strikes spark new fires, Golding told reporters on Tuesday afternoon. “Over the course of today we are expecting general thunderstorms to develop – they are going to cause a few problems around the fire grounds,” she said.
At 6pm there are 120 fires, 68 are not contained. Eight Emergency Warnings are in place. It has been a busy day for the 3,000 firefighters in the field.
As the southerly change moves up the coast conditions continue to be unpredictable. Stay up to date. #nswfires #nswrfs
Towns in Bega Valley and Shoalhaven without safe drinking water By Eilidh Mellis The water supply in Bemboka is unusable, contaminated with ash from the Werri Berri fire northwest of Bega. Residents who have remained in the area are advised by Bega Valley Shire Council to access a temporary supply of drinking water at the Bemboka fire shed.
Temperatures to ease this week, before rising again on Saturday. After a horror day of bushfires that claimed several lives and dozens of properties in NSW, the weather is forecast to improve in the latter half of the week before conditions deteriorate again on Saturday. Western Sydney sweltered through its hottest ever December day on Tuesday, with a peak of 46.3 in Penrith recorded at 3.21pm. Towns along the South Coast, where the worst of the fires raged, hit the high 30s. Sydney Morning Herald