An “extremely dangerous” bushfire is burning out of control in South Australia’s southeast, with residents warned their lives and properties are at risk.
Another major fire is burning in western Victoria in Glenormiston South north of Warrnambool.
Yet another ongoing blaze has engulfed and destroyed at least one home in the Melbourne suburb of Carrum Downs, where police evacuated nearby residents as firefighters battled to contain the blaze.
A watch-and-act message remains in effect for Carrum Downs, Frankston North, Langwarrin and Skye. About 50 fires had been reported across the state, some of which have been put out.
The Country Fire Service in South Australia issued an emergency warning for the Sherwood and Brimbago areas, as the blaze burns southeast towards Emu Flat Road, Wurlyana Road, Gum Flat Rd, Sherwood Rd and Wirrega North Road.
“If you are in this area you are in danger. There is a risk to your life and property,” the CFS said in a warning just after 2pm on Saturday.
“Take shelter inside a solid building. Do not leave or enter this area in a vehicle or on foot. It is too late to leave and the roads will not be safe.”
The fire comes amid soaring temperatures and catastrophic fire conditions in the Mt Lofty Ranges, and upper and lower southeast.
Sherwood (South Australia, between Keith and Bordertown) 2:30pm CEST
The CFS have issued an emergency warning for this fire with more aircraft joining the 5 in extremely challenging weather conditions.
Temp" 37.8° (decreasing)
Wind:46.3 km/h WSW gusting 61.1 km/h pic.twitter.com/b9ytTTXWAy
— Incident Alert-VicSA (@incident_alert) January 6, 2018
“You are in danger, act now to protect yourself. It is too late to leave. The safest option is to take shelter indoors immediately. Do not get in the car and drive. It is safer to stay where you are,” the warning reads.
The Victorian bushfire threatening Carrum Downs was travelling in a southerly direction towards Quarry Road.
South Australia’s 12 other districts are either severe or extreme, with authorities considering the conditions as the worst in several years.
SA farmer describes ‘wall of flames’
A local South Australian farmer has reported a “wall of flames” as she and her husband attempted to fight a blaze near their Sherwood farm.
Local farmer Robyn Verrall said her husband was fighting the blaze about 20 kilometres from their property.
Images she posted depict trees and grass on fire while a video shows thick smoke blanketing paddocks, significantly reducing visibility.
“At (the) fire scene, it’s a wall of flames,” Ms Verrall said.
South Australian police said the Dukes Highway was closed between Keith and the intersection of the Ngarkat Highway just north of Bordertown, due to the fire.
However, a watch and act message remained in place for a fire at McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide.
Adelaide had a top temperature of 42.3C just after 1pm but by 3pm the mercury had dipped to 32C as a cool change continued to move across the state.
— with AAP