Communities in Victoria’s west are being told to leave immediately as fire crews battle out-of-control blazes in extreme conditions.

A catastrophic fire warning has been issued for communities in western Victoria, with temperatures reaching near 40 degrees today, while the rest of the state is on watch.

Multiple fires are this afternoon burning out of control in the state’s west, with one major fire taking hold in the Grampians National Park.

Today has been declared a day of Total Fire Ban in the Mallee, Wimmera, South West, Northern Country, North Central and Central (includes Melbourne and Geelong) districts of Victoria. (CFA Victoria)

Victoria’s state control centre issued a warning to residents near the park this afternoon, urging people to leave now.

Residents at Bellfield Settlement, Halls Gap, Pomonal, Bellfield and Lake Fryans have been told to leave immediately, while residents at Dadswells Bridge, Roses Gap, Laharum, Ledcourt and Wartook have also been told to leave their homes.

The communities are near the major township of Stawell.

Residents have been told to evacuate to Ararat and travel on the Ararat Halls Gap Road.

“Leaving immediately is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous,” the state emergency service said.

”A wind change is expected which will cause the fire to change directions towards Pomonal.

“Conditions can become very dangerous and unpredictable.”

West of Ballarat, firefighters were battling a fire near Beaufort which was threatening communities.

Communities in and around Grampians Junction, Lake Goldsmith and Oitfield Plains have been warned to keep an eye on the conditions, with multiple fires burning in the area.

Extremely hot, dry and windy conditions hit most of the state, with wind gusts of up to 80km/h and thunderstorms expected.

Meanwhile, thunderstorms have hit Melbourne’s north and east, prompting a warning from authorities.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a severe thunderstorm warning, predicting damaging winds and destructive hail for parts of the city.

The storms are expected to hit outer Melbourne and Healesville by 3pm.

Earlier residents were warned of the worst impending bushfire conditions since the 2019-20 Black Summer season.

Extreme fire danger warnings are in place for the Mallee, Northern Country, and Central districts.

Kevin Parkin from the Bureau of Meteorology has warned it will be the first time since November 2019 that the state has experienced such dangerous conditions.

Conditions are expected to be extremely dry, hot and windy. (9News)

“I’ve been in this game for a number of years and these conditions are the worst I’ve seen since the 2019-2020 summer fire season,” Parkin said.

Speaking to media yesterday afternoon, he said the communities most at risk were in the Wimmera region, but the entire state was facing dangerous conditions.

Temperatures are expected to reach into the high 30s and low 40s across Victoria paired with dry and extremely windy conditions.

The extreme weather will be followed by thunderstorms and lightning, heightening the risk of bushfires.

Authorities have warned conditions can change quickly and that fires can easily be ignited on windy days. (9News)

Total fire bans will be in place across the state and multiple schools are expected to be closed.

The state’s regional train service, VLine, is also reducing timetables on the Bendigo, Echuca and Swan Hill train lines.

Victorians have been warned to avoid unnecessary travel and to avoid national parks in the state’s west such as the Grampians National Park and the Grange State Forest.

Chris Hardman from Forest Fire Management Victoria said fire conditions on catastrophic days could be “uncontrollable and fast-moving.”

“Do not visit parks and forests and if you’re there, get out tonight,” he said.

”It’s really important that people don’t visit, particularly in those areas in the Wimmera.

“If fires start in those areas, they can quickly become uncontrollable and your life will be in danger.”

The conditions are the worst authorities have seen since the Black Summer bushfires in 2019-2020. (9News)
CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan said the conditions were among the worst firefighters had seen. (9News)

Fire crews will be on standby across the state and water-bombing aircraft will be placed in strategically-located areas.

Authorities have warned power outages may happen and have urged people to keep an eye on the Vic Emergency app, as well as their emergency broadcaster.

CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan said the conditions were among “some of the worst” firefighters had ever seen.

“We’re calling communities to be aware of conditions tomorrow,” he said.

“Whilst those communities in the Wimmera need to be aware, any area from Melbourne to the west needs to be alert.

“These fire move fast and they can jump roads fast. Should a fire take hold, it’ll move incredibly fast.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Why Kathleen Turner And Michael Douglas Never Dated Despite Their Chemistry

Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas could have very well taken their on-screen…

Will Florida Become a 'Libel Tourism Destination' — and Bury Conservative Media?

Florida Republicans want to change defamation laws in the state to hold…

Students evacuated from bus that caught fire in Sydney's south

More than 20 students have escaped injury after the bus they were…

Casey Cizikas exits Islanders’ loss early while Cal Clutterbuck returns

The Islanders got one fourth-liner back on Thursday, but they may have…