That will leave 400 people who have chosen to stay in the community.
On Sunday morning, Don Ashby, who is running aid efforts at the Mallacoota Hall, said buses were leaving with evacuees to board the C-27J Spartan, which has a capacity of 34 passengers.
“They’re flying people out while the weather’s good. It’s pretty clear here, we can see the Howe Range for the first time in two days,” he said.
Westwards along the coast at similarly isolated Marlo, firefighter and local councillor Mark Reeves, reported seeing a Chinook helicopter toward Mallacoota, presumably from the East Sale RAAF base.
He told The Age it was a relief to see clear sky and help on its way to those stranded at Mallacoota.
Tim Buckley, who was holidaying in Mallacoota with his Canadian wife and children aged 2 and 5, has been waiting to leave the town by aircraft since Friday night.
Despite being marked as V for “vulnerable”, some families stranded in the town were told they would not be evacuated via Navy ships because their children were under 5.
“We’re just really thankful to be eventually heading off today. We’re just at the airport here, there’s a Spartan on the runway and another Chinook has just landed,” Mr Buckley said on Sunday afternoon.
“The kids are great – they’ve taken it as an adventure.”
Almost 1000 people from Mallacoota arrived at Hastings on HMAS Choules Saturday evening after a near 20-hour trip. HMAS Choules is returning to Mallacoota but its primary role will be transporting emergency supplies and equipment. MV Sycamore also helped with the weekend evacuation and has returned to Mallacoota.
Mr Ashby said the relief efforts were far from over in Mallacoota, with a significant population of locals staying in the town.
“The people who actually live here are running out of food, so we’re getting the second wave. But the Red Cross and Victoria Police have been amazing.
And, despite the government and police calls for holidaymakers to leave fire-affected areas including Mallacoota, many campers are staying on.
Mallacoota resident Etienne van der Merwe said he was surprised there was not a rush of campers trying to leave the coastal retreat.
“There’s not a massive queue of people trying to leave,” said Mr van der Merwe. “I went to the caravan park after the fire went through and I was surprised by the number of people planning to stay.”
The airlifts from Mallacoota are part of the biggest-ever Australian military deployment for a natural disaster to be rolled out in coming days in fire-ravaged Victoria
On Sunday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Black Hawk helicopter support had also been provided from East Sale and had been involved in transporting firefighters from Bairnsdale to Mallacoota.
Victorian Police Minister Lisa Neville confirmed that ADF helicopters were now flying in and out of Mallacoota. She said she hoped that by the end of Sunday everybody who wanted to leave Mallacoota will have been evacuated.
Ashleigh McMillan is a breaking news reporter at The Age. Got a story? Email me at email@example.com
Royce Millar is an investigative journalist at The Age with a special interest in public policy and government decision-making.