Rain across fire-ravaged Victoria will be 'good and bad'

| 19.01,20. 11:02 PM |


Rain across fire-ravaged Victoria will be 'good and bad'


Fire trucks are arriving by ship to the remote French Island. (Nine News)


A blaze burning out of control on French Island in southern Victoria that yesterday triggered an emergency warning is no longer threatening communities.
An emergency warning - the highest alert level - was issued about 4:30pm for the fire at the island's Ridge Track, before being downgraded to advice level about six hours later.
The 85-hectare fire is burning near Ridge Track and Mt Wellington Road.
There were 16 fires burning in Victoria late on Saturday, predominantly in the East Gippsland and the northeastern alpine regions.
Authorities earlier downgraded emergency warnings in Victoria's alpine region despite difficult fire conditions overnight.
They will bring rain, high moisture levels and thunder to some fire areas, particularly the alpine region.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Michael Efron said that is good news in one sense for fire-ravaged landscapes, but may be troublesome in another.
"Rainfall runoff can actually contain a lot of debris and that could get washed into waterways and across roads as well, so at the same time increasing the risk of landslides," he said.
"There's good and bad associated with this activity."
Rainfall totals of about 5mm to 10mm are expected, but some areas could have totals of up to 50mm.
"It does look like that rain could be intense, in some parts of the state at least," Mr Efron said.
The latest warnings come as a registration service was established for people who fled Mallacoota, Genoa and Gipsy Point and want to return now conditions have improved.
When it is safe to do so, emergency services and the Australian Defence Force will begin flights or escorted road transport into Mallacoota and surrounds, Victoria Police have confirmed.
Incident management specialists from the US and Canada arrived at Melbourne Airport on Saturday morning, ahead of being deployed to fires in the northeast and East Gippsland.
Also arriving from the US was the first of four large air tankers, which are set to be positioned strategically around the country over the next 50 days.
"These aircraft have the capability to deploy across Australia, providing infrastructure protection and laying retardant lines to limit the spread of the fires. They are a truly national capability," Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Council CEO Stuart Ellis said in a statement.
A contingent from the Fiji Military Force will also arrive in Melbourne this afternoon to start induction training before being deployed to East Gippsland, where a group from the Papua New Guinea Defence Force is already at work.
The arriving 54 personnel will be welcomed by the local Fijian community.
So far the blazes have burnt through more than 1.5 million hectares, 387 residential homes and 602 non-residential buildings.
Five men have also died during the fires.



AAP/9news


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