Rains that provided a respite from bushfires will start giving way to sunny weather across Victoria on Wednesday, with warmer conditions prompting warnings for people to remain vigilant.
Fire danger ratings on Wednesday will remain at low levels in East Gippsland and will rise to very high in the northeast, as temperatures rise slightly ahead of forecast spike days on Thursday and Friday.
“In terms of weather and fire conditions, again we talk about, now, benign conditions, the fire is suppressed. It is still there. It is still tinder dry in East Gippsland in the northeast of our state,” Emergency Management Commissioner for Victoria Andrew Crisp told reporters.
“That’s not going to make a difference. It is holding there for the moment.”
As bushfires merged into bigger complexes, 12 blazes were active across Victoria on Tuesday evening, burning more than 1.2 million hectares.
Two main fire complexes in East Gippsland and the northeast were named Tambo and Snowy.
Tuesday also saw people being rescued from fire-ravaged town of Mallacoota, where the Royal Australian Navy said that 260 people had boarded HMAS Choules ship, including CFA volunteers.
They are expected to reach the HMAS Cerberus naval base on the Mornington Peninsula on Wednesday afternoon after an almost 20-hour journey.
About 4000 people became isolated at the coastal community a week ago, where the medical centre has stayed open 24 hours and food supplies have been cut off short.
Emergency Victoria warning alerts said there had been reports of local residents cutting their way out of closed areas.
“Residents must stop this immediately,” the warning read.
“It is also not safe to drive on these roads until they have been treated for hazardous trees and other damage. There is also still active fire in some of these areas.”
The call to follow instructions and stay sharp-eyed was backed up by Premier Daniel Andrews.
“We are taking advantage of these slightly calmer conditions. These next couple of days will be a big challenge for us as the weather changes again,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“This is not over by a long shot. While the last couple of days have been benign, there will be messages that are all about your safety and your wellbeing. They will be sent out almost certainly Thursday and Friday this week.”
© AAP 2020