Christmas Day in Victoria turned out be a chaotic one as an out of control bushfire emerged along the Great Ocean Road which led to over 50 homes being destroyed.
Dozens of households were evacuated, including the whole of Lorne, after the bushfire emerged. The Guardian revealed that Steve Warrington of the Victorian emergency services’ State Control Centre confirmed that this could continue through the summer.
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley, speaking to Sky News, issued the same cry and said that the blaze was intense and it had been forced along due to strong winds in the region.
“This fire doesn’t go away,” he said.
“We move back into very hot weather, particularly in northern Victoria, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.”
The Guardian reports that the people residing at Wye River, Separation Creek, Kennett River and Grey River were told to evacuate at lunchtime on Christmas Day. They are taking shelter at the Apollo Bay Leisure Centre. Tourists and locals residing at Lorne, Allenvale, North Lorne and Cumberland River were shifted to Torquay Relief Centre.
The 1,300-hectare bushfire swept the whole of Separation Creek and Wye River as it looked empty after the blaze.
“The last few years, it’s sort of been that feeling of if and when it does happen, that it will be very serious” said Jo Birley from Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce and Tourism. Birley predicts a bad summer for people in the Otway Ranges.
Premier Daniel Andrews praised the efforts put in emergency services around the area and locals who welcomed the people into their homes with open arms.
“This is one of those times when the very worst of circumstances brings out the very best in our state,” he told Sky News.
The road to calamity hit Lorne is open, but it will remain closed south for days.