A total of 53 homes had been lost and hundreds were in danger early
today as an out-of-control bushfire continues to burn through tourist
towns along ’s surf coast.
As Lorne, Allenvale, North
Lorne and Cumberland River residents evacuated their homes, the Country
Fire Authority said it was too late for people to leave Wye River,
Separation Creek, Kennett River and Grey River if they had not already
done so.
“You are in danger, act now to protect yourself. It is
too late to leave. The safest option is to take shelter indoors
immediately,” the CFA warned.
A State Control Centre spokeswoman confirmed 53 homes lost in Wye River and Separation Creek.
She said spot fires were landing up to 2km out from the fire front, and even as far as the coast line.
Temperatures hit 35C yesterday, while strong winds were making firefighting efforts difficult.

Earlier in the day, Emergency Management Commissioner Craig
Lapsley said the Wye River fire was the major concern for the day. “It’s
a lightning strike that started just under a week ago, and it’s in
exactly the wrong spot to have a fire,” he said.
An emergency warning was also in place for Sunbury, on Melbourne’s northwestern outskirts, as a grass fire threatened homes.
a Boxing Day cyclone was looking less likely to form off the Northern
Territory. On Thursday, forecasters predicted it to form today, but
yesterday this was looking less likely, although the wild was
still said to be “near enough”.
The Bureau of Meteorology said
the low-pressure system, which had been forecast to move southeast and
form into a cyclone over the Gulf of Carpentaria, had instead looped
back to settle over the Top End.
The eastern side of the gulf was
being pummelled by severe thunderstorms, heavy rainfalls of up to 300mm
in some areas, flash flooding, heavy surf and strong to gale-force
winds with gusts of up to 90km/h.