Extreme weather conditions in the south-eastern Australian state of Victoria have resulted in the state’s first code red catastrophic fire warning.
The catastrophic fire-warning was introduced in the wake of last year’s Black Saturday bushfires which devastated large parts of the state.
The warning is issued for the Wimmera region in the west of the state, where there the temperature’s forecast to be in excess of 42 degrees.
Chief Fire Officer, Ewan Waller, says parks and forests in the area are being closed.
“Rangers are out there now, actually talking to campers, and that message will be passed on progressively throughout the day,” he said.
“Across Victoria tomorrow’s not a place you want to be in the bush. That’s simple and clear.”
“Particularly bushwalking is not a place and not an activity you should be doing, and even travelling in the bush is not something you should be doing unless you absolutely have to.”
Catastrophic warnings are also in place in 10 of the 15 fire ban districts in South Australia, including the heavily populated Adelaide Hills.
South Australia’s Country Fire Authority is also urging people in these areas to leave their homes.
In southern NSW, fire crews are bracing themselves for threatening conditions this afternoon, with strong north-westerly winds expected.