Hundreds of people across Victoria are on heightened alert with over 20 emergency warnings in place as bushfires continue to ravage the state.
Firefighters have been working tirelessly since Friday to contain severe blazes that were first sparked by lightning strikes in the Bunyip State Park.
Hardworking emergency serve workers rallied together to fight the fire with up to 850 people, 120 fire trucks and 20 aircrafts used on Sunday in an attempt to control the blaze.
Victoria is in the grip of a fire emergency. A series of blazes have joined up to create an enormous fire front. That inferno is raging through Bunyip State Park, consuming homes. Residents have now been told to flee, with the situation only expected to worsen. @MFelgate7 #7News pic.twitter.com/dMlKIoc60n
— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) March 3, 2019
According to Nine News there was some relief for emergency service workers on Sunday night with a wind change easing conditions in some areas throughout the evening.
However, the worst isn’t over yet with 23 schools forced to close their doors on Monday due to the fire threat. Early on Monday morning the Country Fire Authority issued an emergency warning for multiple suburbs including Budgeree, Budgeree East, Jeeralang, Jeeralang Junction, Jeeralang North, Jumbuk, Yinnar and Yinnar South.
People have been urged to consider leaving their homes before it’s too late, while others who have been unable to make it back to their properties are warned not to go back.
EMERGENCY WARNING – BUSHFIRE – Budgeree, Budgeree East, Jeeralang, Jeeralang Junction, Jeeralang North, Jumbuk, Yinnar, Yinnar South. 1.8 Km South of Yinnar South
Communities south-east of the fire should enact their fire plan.More informationhttps://t.co/Dqm7I1eth6 pic.twitter.com/hq5u2QiUY0
— CFA Updates (@CFA_Updates) March 3, 2019
Speaking in a community meeting on Sunday night, CFA Assistant Chief Officer Trevor Owen claimed the current fire is worse than the blaze which wreaked havoc on the state in the same spot on Black Saturday.
“Whilst it damaged some property (in 2009) it was a very narrow finger compared to what we’re facing with this fire, because this fire has been growing,” Nine News reports he said at the meeting.
Terrified locals have taken to social media to document the fire over the course of the weekend with pictures of red smoke-filled skies spread across Twitter.
“Current view from Drouin,” one person wrote alongside a string a snaps.
Meanwhile, others have shared their stories of heartbreak after learning their homes were no longer standing.
Speaking to ABC Radio Melbourne Tonimbuk resident Karen explained she only realised her house was gone after seeing a photo of it online.
“I’m not the only one, there are other people who’ve lost stuff too so I’m just, I’m one of a lot of people who are going through this right now and we’re just trying to be brave,” she said.