Victoria’s emergency services are bracing for more fire danger tomorrow, with large wind gusts of up to 80km/h forecast to wreak havoc across the state.
The mercury has been tipped to rise to a maximum of 32 degrees in Melbourne, prompting a total fire ban across six out of nine areas in Victoria, predominantly in the state’s west.
The fire danger follows a string of wild weather over the past 48 hours, including an onslaught of storms, rain and hail.
SES crews have received more than 2,200 requests for assistance, with more than 400 requests being outstanding.
Melbourne’s south-east suburb Malvern has been one of the hardest hit, claiming 300 of those outstanding assistance requests.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp warned the fire risk for tomorrow was “real”.
“We are still dealing with storm damage and hail damage,” he said.
“This is not a time to be complacent, it’s a time to be vigilant.”
Flash flooding caused chaos across the state, suburbs in the Dandenong region receiving the most amount of rainfall.
Ferny Creek recorded 73mm of rain, while Monbulk received 50mm.
The rain has brought some relief to the fire front, as the 14 active blazes in Victoria were all under advice levels that didn’t pose risks to lives and homes.
But senior meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, Kevin Parkin said the state’s wild weather had caused debris from fire-affected areas to wash into waterways.
“We’ve seen lots of debris from some of the fire-affected areas wash into the streams rivers turning them into dark chocolate and lots of trees down on roads,” Mr Parkin said.
“Its been a merry-go-round of weather over the past few days.
“We’ve gone from fires, storms, floods and giant hail stones the size of limes in Glen Iris producing widespread damage, to fire danger escalating on our doorstep.”
Northerly wind gusts are set to intensify up to a maximum of 80km/h tomorrow morning and are forecast to maintain their intensity before a wind change, accompanied by possible thunderstorms and lightening in the afternoon.
CFA chief officer Steve Warrington said grass fire risks were of particular concern.
“New starts are a concern to us,” Mr Warrington said.
“Indeed the grass areas of the western side of Melbourne.”