Towns in South Australia and Victoria are battling intense blazes in extreme temperatures.
A home has been lost in Victoria, residents in some areas of South Australia have been urged to leave their homes while Tasmania and parts of Western Australia have been placed on high alert.
Two bushfires are burning out of control and threatening lives in South Australia, with extreme weather conditions showing few signs of easing.
Authorities are fighting to contain blazes at Humbug Scrub in the Mount Lofty Ranges and Tantanoola in the Lower South East region.
The blaze at Humbug Scrub has changed direction and is threatening lives.
The Sampson Flat scrub fire near Kersbrook Road, had been travelling southeast but is now heading northeast towards the South Para Road, Sambell Road, Bassnet Road, Humbug Scrub Road, Trevilla Road, Frank Barker Road, Framic Drive, Taylor Road, Kelly Hill Road and Karwin Road.
There is a risk to lives and homes, the Country Fire Service says.
The area should be avoided but residents should only leave if there is a clear path to a safe place.
Homes that are actively defended and well-prepared may provide safety, the CFS says.
Meanwhile, the fire front in the Tantanoola and Glencoe areas has slowed.
The CFS has downgraded an emergency warning to a watch and act. It says while the immediate threat to public safety has been reduced, it could still threaten lives.
Residents of the Glencoe, Glencoe West, Tantanoola and Burrungule areas have been told to remain vigilant and be aware of the increased danger as the weather conditions change overnight.
Previously, residents were told it was unsafe to leave the area by vehicle or by foot and told to seek refuge in their homes.
People in the area should listen to local news updates on a battery-powered radio, the CFS said.
One home has been lost in bushfires threatening towns at the foothills of the Grampians in Victoria’s west.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley confirmed the house had burnt down in Moyston.
While crews have contained the bushfire and downgraded an emergency fire warning to a watch and act message on Friday evening, Mr Lapsley said crews would be fighting the blaze throughout the night.
He said wind forecast overnight meant the fire could pose challenges for crews.
As flames raced towards her property, Moyston guest house owner Karen Fraser was grateful emergency crews were there.
“It was very close to where we are,” Ms Fraser told AAP on Friday.
“We could see flames in the paddock across the road. We’re very grateful they were able to stop it coming to us.”
She said a lack of fuel in the paddock and favourable conditions also helped contain the blaze near her property.
Victoria has an extreme fire danger rating, with temperatures predicted to hit 40C in the west with winds gusting up to 90km/h.
An extreme fire danger day has been forecast for Western Australia’s Goldfields Region.
A total fire ban is in place for the Goldfield Midlands on Friday.
Residents in the Coolgardie and Lenora shires are warned to be prepared for high-risk weather conditions.
Residents in parts of Kalgoorlie Boulder as well as the Dundas, Laverton, Menzies, Sandstone and Wiluna shires are also warned to be on alert.
Severe fire danger warnings are also in place in parts of the Gascoyne and Interior regions.
Authorities have issued a Tasmania-wide fire ban with severe weather forecast across the state.
The ban is in place for all of Saturday when hot and dry conditions are expected, along with gusts of more than 50km/h, Tasmanian Fire Service acting chief officer Gavin Freeman said.
“This will make any fire start difficult to control,” he added.
“Machinery that emit sparks, such as mowers, slashers, grinders and other cutting tool are banned as this type of activity has the potential to start fires.”
There is also a ban on harvesting between 11am and 6pm.
Non-essential water use should be curbed so that the resource is available for fire fighting if necessary.
Residents in and around bush areas should familiarise themselves with their survival and evacuation plans and stay updated throughout Saturday on the changing conditions, Mr Freeman said.
Fines apply for breaking fire bans.
– with AAP