The extent of damage across south-west Victorian is unknown as emergency services continue to fight fires burning out of control.
In the latest briefing, Emergency Services Minister, James Merlino revealed these statistics:
- 40,000 hectares burnt
- 10 to 12 homes have been impacted
- Dozens of sheds and machinery destroyed
- Hundreds of beef and dairy cattle lost
- 29 aircraft deployed
- 280 firefighters battling the blazes
- 800 people have sought help at five relief centres
More than 120 people took shelter at the Warrnambool Stadium overnight as fires raged through the south-west.
What we know so far
- A number of fires have been burning out of control in Victoria's south-west since Saturday night.
- Homes, sheds and dairy stock around Terang, Camperdown and Cobden have been lost to fires and many more properties remain in harm’s way.
- The 'Terang' fire and 'Gnotuk' fires have burnt out more than 22,000 hectares and may join into a single front as they travel south-east towards Timboon and Pomborneit.
- 8200 households and businesses are currently without power, including 6000 at Terang.
- Hundreds of volunteer firefighters working to contain fires burning around Camperdown and Cobden are being hampered by wild westerly winds that are expected to continue throughout Sunday.
- People in the fire’s path are being warned to stay put as it is too dangerous to attempt to leave.
- A number of key roads have been closed.
South West Coast MP Roma Britnell was at the relief centre this morning and said there were people who had fled from the fires at Hawkesdale, near Penshurst and Garvoc.
She was told at least two houses had been lost at Hawkesdale and many hectares of farmland had been burnt.
“There are lots of people affected,” Mrs Britnell said.
Let your family know you are safe, or look for people you know may be affected by the South West fires by registering online here or call 1800 727 077.
Fire ban in place
A total fire ban has been declared for Sunday across the South West and Central districts of Victoria, including Melbourne and Geelong.
No fires can be lit or be allowed to remain alight in the open air.
After a wild night firefighters are battling changing wind conditions on Sunday.
Relief centres have been opened:
- Killara Centre at Camperdown
- the Cobden Civic Hall
- the Arc Stadium at Warrnambool
- Port Campbell Surf Life Saving Club
- Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre
The region is experiencing widespread power outages after the Terang Terminal Station exploded, causing significant damage.
Brett Gasper captured the substation fire at Terang on Saturday night.
This video of the outskirts of Terang, filmed on Sunday morning, shows the scene but more significant damage is being uncovered as the day wears on.
Obviously a warning about driving responsibly and safely applies.
The video below, looking at the Gnotuk fire, was taken from the Camperdown Caravan Park lookout on Saturday night.
Emergency services were continuing to respond to issues in Terang on Sunday morning. Robert Thomas shared this video of how it’s looking this morning.