Australians braced for fresh fires

Officials say hot, windy conditions to bring back blazes that killed more than 200.

    The bushfires in early February claimed at least 209 lives and left hundreds homeless [Reuters]

    A total fire ban was imposed across the state as meteorologists predicted temperatures would hit around 35 degrees Celsius with northerly wind gusts of 35km per hour.

    Volatile conditions

    More than 3,500 firefighters are trying to control four major fires still raging in Victoria.

    Officials say many of those who died in the wildfires were trapped in their homes or perished in the rush to flee.

    At Enoch Point, 80km east of Melbourne, the CFA asked residents to evacuate immediately if they did not want to defend their homes.

    "Decide now if you are going to stay or go," it advised.

    "If you decide to leave in advance of the fire, then do so no later than  this morning."

    More than a dozen communities in the area were on high alert, and the CFA also warned they may not receive any notification if conditions change unexpectedly in the volatile conditions.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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