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Media Releases

Fires likely to impact communities in East Gippsland

30 December 2019

There are more than 10 fires currently burning in East Gippsland, including three large fires that have been burning for more than a month. A number of the fires in Gippsland started yesterday as a result of dry lightning including a fire between Cann River and Mallacoota travelled more than 20km overnight within five hours. These fires are likely to grow in size significantly and will impact communities today, driven by very hot, dry weather and with strong gusty winds.


A wind change is expected to reach East Gippsland in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The wind change is likely to increase the fire intensity and result in the fires rapidly changing direction and significantly increasing in size.


Dry lightning is also forecast today in East Gippsland. Any lightning strikes in dry, drought affected forests have the potential to quickly become fires that threaten lives and homes.


East Gippsland communities could be impacted today by a fire front, spot fires and ember attacks on homes, or major roads being closed resulting in communities being isolated. If the fires cross or threatens the Princes Highway it will be closed.


Emergency Management Commissioner, Andrew Crisp said if you’re in East Gippsland today you should be aware of warnings issued for your area and carefully follow the instructions in the warning


“Roads could close with no warning as the fires will grow rapidly in size under hot and windy conditions,” Mr Crisp said.


“The safest place to be is in built up areas or to shelter indoors.”


“It is your responsibility to stay across information and warnings as conditions can change quickly.


Everyone who has left East Gippsland should register with Register.Find.Reunite online at This will assist both the emergency services and allow your loved ones to know you are safe.


During an emergency you may lose power. Fires can damage phone networks so you may not have phone reception.


Victorians are reminded to connect to multiple sources for emergency information, including the VicEmergency app,, tuning in to ABC radio or other emergency broadcasters including commercial and community radio stations or Sky TV or by phoning the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226 and following VicEmergency on Facebook and Twitter.


A higer resolution map can be found here: