Code red warnings issued as bushfires rage amid hazardous weather conditions in Australia
Parts of the state of Victoria are on high alert as bushfires continue to rage in sweltering temperatures.
Officials in Victoria in Australia have issued code red warnings as bushfires continue to rage in the state and hazardous weather conditions prevail elsewhere in the country.
The Victorian Country Fire Authority (CFA) saw fit to declare a total fire ban on Thursday, a measure taken when fires are likely to spread rapidly and could be difficult to control.
Furthermore, two districts in Victoria – Mallee and Northern Country – were issued with code red warnings, the highest level of rating in Victoria, signifying the worst conditions for grassfires or bushfires.
Image via Victorian Country Fire Authority
A code red fire danger rating warns that if a fire were to start, it will be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving, fire services will find it difficult to put out and there is a high likelihood that people in the path of a fire will be killed or seriously injured.
The CFA warns that even the best designed, constructed and prepared homes will not be safe in these conditions and that the safest option for survival is to leave high-risk bushfire areas the night before or early in the morning of a code red day.
A ‘severe’ or ‘very high’ fire rating has been applied to several other areas in Victoria, but those warnings are likely to be downgraded in the coming days according to the CFA’s four-day forecast.
Temperatures in the state have reached 44 degrees in places, while this week Melbourne matched its hottest November day on record with the mercury tipping 40.9 degrees.
The warnings for Victoria come as firefighters continue to battle bushfires in South Australia as well as Victoria, while in New South Wales, Sydney is amongst large parts of the state that have been blanketed in heavy smoke from bushfires.
In South Australia, six people have died in bushfires since last month, hundreds of homes have been destroyed, thousands of people have been left without power and schools have been closed in high risk areas as a result of devastating bushfires in the state.
Other major victims of the bushfires include Australia's koala population, with more than 350 of the marsupials feared dead in the blazes.
A woman was hailed as a hero after a video emerged of her endangering herself to rescue a scorched koala from a bushfire earlier this week.