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Victoria bushfires: Hazardous smoke warnings remain in place

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The majority of Victoria is waking up today to a thick layer of smoke, which is forecast to disperse as rain sweeps through the state.

The majority of Victoria is waking up today to a thick layer of smoke, which is forecast to disperse as rain sweeps through the state.

Hazardous air quality alerts will be in place until at least this evening for the smoke blanketing central and eastern Victoria.

The state recorded the worst air quality in the world yesterday, as smoke from East Gippsland fires spread and authorities alerted vulnerable groups to stay indoors.

"When you reach the hazardous air quality range anyone can develop symptoms," Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said yesterday.

"There can be eye, nose and throat irritation, people can have a cough develop or worse, or even wheeze."

Rain and cooler weather expected to hit the state this afternoon will help disperse the bushfire smoke, improving the air quality forecast for tomorrow to a moderate rating.

The Bureau of Meteorology said cooler conditions will remain for Victoria until the weekend, with maximum temperatures in the low 20s.

Rain and thunderstorms accompanying the cool change will hardly help firefighters battling blazes in the state's east and northeast.

An emergency warning remains in place for the Victorian town of Tamboon, where residents have been told to take shelter as bushfires flared.

The fire at Tamboon and Tamboon South is not yet under control, Vic Emergency said earlier this morning., AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 02: DELWP ( The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning ) and CFA ( Country Fire Authority ) Crews monitor fires and begin back burns between the towns of Orbost and Lakes Entrance in east Gipplsland  on January 02, 2020 in Australia. The HMAS Choules docked outside of Mallacoota this morning to evacuate thousands of people stranded in the remote coastal town following fires across East Gippsland which have killed one person and destroyed dozens of pro

Emergency services reported the fire was creating its own weather pattern in Tamboon while becoming erratic.

The bushfire is travelling from Croajingolong National Park in a westerly direction towards Tamboon and Tamboon South.

The alert was first issued last night as the firefront grew, warning residents it was too late to leave.

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"You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive," the alert said.

"The safest option is to take shelter indoors immediately.

"It is too late to leave."

A second fire is burning at watch and act level at Tabberabbera.

Less than 5mm of rain and thunderstorms are forecast for fire-affected areas, bringing dry lightning that could spark new fires.

Central Victoria could see between 5mm and 15mm of rainfall.

The recent bushfires have burned 1.4 million hectares across the state. Four people have died, with 353 homes and 548 other structures destroyed.

Seventeen fires were burning in Victoria last night.

Source: 9News

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