Bushfires in Victoria and Tasmania continue to threaten dozens of homes as the nation experiences its first heat wave of the season.
One of the blazes was started by authorities as a back burn and that decision has been strongly criticised and may ultimately lead to compensation for victims.
Amy Saunders reports.
Firefighters are struggling to control a blaze in central Victoria that has destroyed one home and threatens hundreds more.
But, so far there’s been no loss of life.
An elderly man feared missing has been found safe overnight.
Despite a drop in temperatures, the blaze which started as a back burn continues to flare out of control and now covers more than three thousand hectares.
Residents are outraged about the blaze which has spread quickly.
VOX 1: “It was a burn off last Thursday and Friday, to me it just seemed absolutely stupid.”
Major roads in the area have been closed and residents that haven’t already evacuated have been told to take shelter.
VOX 2: “We could feel the heat straight away and I had to evacuate because I have asthma. I took the dogs with me, but yeah it was pretty scary man.”
VOX 3: “Oh everybody is worried. It puts you on edge. My wife’s been crying.”
The stress is clearly mounting.
VOX 4: “I’ve got my neighbours two dogs in the car as well, because she rang me up hysterical for them, yeah anyway.”
Unfortunately when the temperatures dropped the winds picked up and that’s now the problem for volunteer firefighters.
More gusts to 60 kilometres an hour are expected in coming days.
The blaze has already jumped containment lines twice in six days.
Victoria’s government has promised an investigation into the initial back burn.
Amy Saunders, QUT News.