Rain brings reprieve in Victoria but storms pose 'dangerous' flood threat

| 12.01,20. 06:49 AM |

Rain brings reprieve in Victoria but storms pose 'dangerous' flood threat

Photo: Rain reached Swifts Creek in East Gippsland's Tambo Valley on Friday. (Supplied: CFA)

Rain in parts of Victoria has given firefighters a reprieve from horror conditions, but forecast storms are now threatening to cause "exceptionally dangerous" flash flooding in fire-affected areas next week, authorities say.

Rain has fallen on firegrounds in parts of East Gippsland, where a huge blaze has been raging for weeks, but other areas missed out on significant falls, including the north-east and fire-ravaged Mallacoota in the far-east.

Victoria's state of disaster was due to be lifted at midnight on Saturday.

There was one emergency warning in place in Victoria on Saturday night for the Buckland Valley and Mount Buffalo area with people urged to leave using the Buckland Valley Road towards Porepunkah.

Fires also continued to burn near Mount Hotham in the state's Alpine region.

A number of other emergency warnings that were in place on Friday night, including for a blaze on Wodonga's south-eastern outskirts, were also downgraded earlier on Saturday.

Storms could hit state mid-week

The rain has not been enough to extinguish the large so-called "campaign fires" burning across much of the state's east, but will allow fatigued crews to be rested while the immediate danger subsides.

Authorities warned the wetter weather would bring with it the risk of severe thunderstorms, which could lead to more risk on the firegrounds.

"Which again sounds bizarre in this situation where you've got fire, but [there is the] potential for flash flooding and also lightning," Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said.

The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) expects storms to hit the west of the state on Wednesday or Thursday, before moving across Victoria and into fire zones.

Ms Neville said flash flooding would be "exceptionally dangerous for our firefighters and emergency service workers".

"In the past, we have seen deaths as a result of those conditions," she said.

The BOM's Jonathan How said the heavier rainfall was a "double-edged sword" that could make access more difficult for firefighters.

Corryong fire meets NSW 'mega-blaze'

The northern tip of the near fire near Corryong has met with the "mega-blaze" in New South Wales — the Green Valley, Dunns Road and East Ournie Creek fires, which also merged yesterday.

But conditions have also eased across the border, and NSW's fire chief said authorities were "extremely relieved" conditions were not as bad as forecast.

Crews will battle to strengthen containment lines and bring the dozens of fires burning across the state under control during the milder weather.

"We're far from out of the woods, this will be something we'll have to remain vigilant on," CFA deputy chief officer Garry Cook said

"The risk is far from over."


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