Thousands Of People Evacuated To Beach To Escape Raging Victorian Bushfire
Around 5,000 people have moved onto a beach in Victoria to escape a raging bushfire.
Pictures uploaded to social media show Mallacoota coated in an apocalyptic red glow as the intense inferno edges closer to the coastline.
The sun should have shone through early this morning however for people who evacuated to the wharf, it was nearly pitch black until 9am.
One person has revealed that many people have put on lifejackets so they're ready to jump into the ocean if the bushfire descends onto the beach.
Mark Tregellas told the ABC: "It was pitch black until about five minutes ago, now the sky is red, it's starting to get embers coming out of the sky, the wind is coming directly at us from the west so everyone's about as prepped and ready as they can be.
"Looking towards the west from the boat ramp we just see a red glow. I can't see any flames at the moment. And it's only at this stage just the odd ember that's coming down, so only just spotted two or three that have been coming from the area."
He said visibility has dropped down to about 50 metres however, despite the massive threat, no one is panicking and everyone is staying calm.
Residents have been told it's now too unsafe to try and leave the area and the best course of action is to stay put and take shelter.
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Another Gippsland resident, Francesca Winterson, told the ABC that everyone is doing their best.
"It's not pleasant, it's pitch dark here and the emergency vehicles have disappeared from sight," she said.
"The power's been out here a long time and we've run out of solar.
"My home's in the fire path, I won't have a home, that's just the way it's going to be, we have to try and be calm."
It's too early to say how many homes have been lost in the area and in Victoria in general as many of the bushfires are still raging.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said: "There are property losses and there's property losses across East Gippsland, but at this stage it's too early to confirm in which particular locations.
"We are naturally very concerned about communities that have become isolated and to get an appreciation about other losses there could be we'll be putting helicopters up doing reconnaissance flights."
Bureau of Meteorology data shows the temperature at 8am in the area was a whopping 49C degrees
Stay safe out there everyone.
Featured Image Credit: brendanh_au/Twitter