A Victorian home has been destroyed in a bushfire as crews across the country tackle blazes in hot and windy conditions.
The Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) has declared a total fire ban for the Mallee area in the state’s northwest for Monday and is also battling several blazes in the Gippsland region where a property was lost.
An out-of-control fire burning in difficult terrain north of Maffra on Sunday triggered evacuations for residents at Briagolong, Culloden, Moornapa and Stockdale and surrounds.
CFA deputy chief for the southeast Trevor Owen says temperatures have dropped and winds eased overnight but with 5000 hectares already blackened and the potential for the blaze to make a run east, concerns remain.
“We did lose one residence in that area and we’re doing some further assessment today on the impact to any other outbuildings,” he told ABC radio.
“The fire ran back into the forest … and that’s the one we’ve been working hard on overnight and obviously yesterday as best we can.”
Some residents in the fire-ravaged areas have not been receiving alert notifications from the Emergency Vic app due to an Apple iOS update.
The CFA will be sending more text alerts out until the tech issue is addressed, chief officer Jason Heffernan said.
“We are aware of it, we have a team of people working on it,” he told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“But if you do have an Apple iPhone … just be mindful that you’re going to have to check that Vic Emergency app more regularly to make sure you are getting the most up-to-date information.”
Authorities have issued wind warnings in South Australia, Victoria and NSW amid concerns strong winds could worsen fire conditions.
A total fire ban is in place in SA for the northeast pastoral, West Coast, and Eastern Eyre Peninsula, with extreme fire danger warnings in place.
The NSW RFS has issued a total fire ban for the southwest region bordering Victoria.
More than 70 fires are burning across NSW with 13 yet to be controlled as crews face a scorching start to October.
RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers is worried this bushfire season will be the worst since 2019/20.
“We know there is community anxiety so we’ve got to balance between not not scaring people but making people take it seriously so they do some simple things to make sure they look after themselves and their family,” he told 2GB.
“Clearly, fire season is here.”
Mr Rogers expects an elevated fire risk until Wednesday but hopes rain forecast for later in the week will help ease conditions.
Temperatures across NSW soared into the 30s on Sunday – about 14C above average in some areas – ahead of a cool change on Monday.
Total fire bans are in force for WA’s Goldfields Midlands region.
An emergency evacuation order was issued late on Sunday in Albany, in the state’s south, as a fast-moving fire threatened properties.
Fires in Queensland were at advice level, with most advisories to avoid smoke.