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This program is captioned live. Fire catastrophe - homes destroyed and people injured after a huge bushfire tears through western Victoria. More than 100 bushfires still raging in NSW, as fire crews battle through the night. At least one home has been destroyed. Melbourne emergency - three fires in Melbourne's west threaten homes and property and are believed to have been deliberately lit. Queensland heat warning - hot conditions move into Queensland, as authorities there brace for fire weather. We will have special coverage from the fire zones throughout the morning right across the country.

A very good morning to you and welcome to our special coverage of the bushfire crisis that is engulfing three states in south east Australia. We are coming to you live from Cooma this morning in NSW. We are hearing reports of at least one home that has been lost here in NSW just near Canberra and in Victoria, there are reports, worrying reports, of up to 20 homes being lost there. I must tell you, there is an emergency warning? Place for a Yarrabin fire that is about 15km east from where we are standing at the moment. We understand that police are doorknocking that area arrest the threat is very, very real and a watch and act remains in place in Tasmania. We are going to be coming to you live throughout the morning from here. Thank you very much for your company. It is Wednesday, 9 January, 2013. A very good morning to David Campbell and Deb Knight in the studio. I understand another hot night in the city, guys.It was. Good morning to you, Alicia. We were sweating until at least 9pm. The forecast is 25 and it is about 22 at the moment. There will be a bit of drizzle today. Hopefully it will provide some much-needed relief. Heatwave, though, is heading towards Queensland. A week- long stretch of hot weather, which is what we have been getting around the country, is expected there and authorities are on high alert. So, it is not stopping yet, Deb. Certainly not. Very concerning reports as well that in Victoria the fire brigade is quite concerned that around Keilor East some of these fires may have been deliberately lit. There were three fires lit in the space of six hours in parks around that area in the suburbs around Melbourne. So it is very disturbing. We did hear there were three teenagers arrested in Shalvey Western Sydney, suspected also of arson and lighting fires deliberately, which is so concerning when we have these heat conditions. It is a real worry. Certainly is. Alicia, back to you and probably do a cross to see what is happening with some of these conditions.Yeah, let's do that, David. Before we do, we do have breaking news, I have just been handed on a scrub fire, that has started in NSW in Lithgow, west of Sydney. Now, that blaze has broken out and is out of control at this stage. The Rural Fire Service has told us that the fire has already torn through 10 hectares on Berry Street and we will have more details on that fire at Lithgow as they come to hand. As we go to air this morning, this is the situation across three states in the country's south-east. A staidwide fire been remains in place across NSW with 1700 firefighters are right now battling close to 140 blazes. 30 of those blazes are uncontained. The major blazes are burning near Cooma, near where we are here in southern NSW, four ra on the State's south coast, as well as Bungendoor near Canberra and Yas in the Southern Tablelands. Meantime in Victoria, there are reports, as we said earlier, up to 20 homes have been lost in Chepstow, east of Melbourne. A massive blaze at Kentbruk, which has been burning since last Friday, is still out of control and edging closer to homes at Drik Drik and Dartmoor. In Tasmania, rain and cooler weather is bringing some much-needed relief there for firefighters, but we are hearing the danger certainly is independent over yet. We have our reporters on the ground and we will be crossing to them throughout the morning. Let's go first to Kerrie Yaxley who is on the phone near Cooma. Kerrie, just tell me what theation is like where you are now. PHONE: Good morning, learn leash. Basically, the latest information this we have is there are around four properties under threat in the valley. This fire has an extremely long front and yesterday it was moving very fast. It has burnt-out over 5,000 hectares of land, 900 hectares of national park. The conditions yesterday were just terrible for fires. We saw 37- degree heat. Winds of up to 80- 85km/h. They were just horrific. Firefighters really had a huge problem on their hands yesterday. Overnight there was actually some drizzle and that has increased the humanity in the air which has made it easier for -- humidity in the air which has made it easier for firefighters to put out the flames and they are X expecting a kinder day today.I was going to ask you about that, Kerrie, because because we are hearing that comb what, the winds are gusty. What are the conditions that firefighters are expecting there today?As I said, it will be a kinder day, but they are expecting - the south-westerly change they were expecting has come through, but it hasn't been as strong as think thought it would be. So, the winds heading in the south- easterly direction around the 25- 35km/h mark, so that is obviously significantly reduced on yesterday, which you would think would make the situation easier for them. But one thing we did see yesterday was that the winds here have a tendency to chop and change around, making it all that more challenging for the firefighters on the ground, Alicia.Indeed. Kerrie, we will be coming back to you throughout the morning. Thank you very much for the update. Let's go now to Sarah Harris who is at Basin View on Sussex Inlet on the NSW south coast. Good morning to you, Sarah. What are the conditions like where you are?Well, Alicia, it certainly is much cooler than it was yesterday. That cool change really brought a lot of relief to fire crews battling the blaze here on the ground. On one hand, but on the other hand it posed a whole new set of problems for fire crews here. It actually turned the fire north, burning towards Sussex Inlet and that actually caused the evacuation of around 500 people to a local RSL here, including about 80 of those from a local nursing home. Meanwhile, this roadblock has actually been in place on the Princes Highway since 5:00 yesterday afternoon. We've got a number of people who are waiting get through this block and to get home, they are told that may happen a little bit later, but the fire has jumped the Princes Highway and it is just too dangerous to drive across at this stage. We are hearing for the RFS that around 2, 500 hectares of bushland has been burned through in the past 24 hours and, look, it is still out of control, but crews are working on containing it. The terrain, Alicia, in this area is so difficult for firefighters to get to, I mean there are lots and lots of gullies, a huge fuel load that has built up over the past couple of years, and that is making it very difficult for fire crews to make any inroads here. Today, we will see the continuing of back-burning to strengthen containment lines. There have been a number ofer in ups along these control loins and we will also see waterbombing? The're. At this stage the status is watch and act, particularly in areas including Sussex, swan haven and there are more. Firecrews have said to me the next 24 hours is really crucial on getting this fire under control before temperatures really start to heat up again by the end of the week.Yeah, we wish fire fighters all the best with that. Sarah, we will come back to you throughout the morning. Thank you very much for that. Now to the crises in Victoria where there are reports that dozens of homes have been destroyed overnighter in Ballarat. We understand that was as a result of a grass fire that got out of control. We are also hearing that as many as six people have been tweeted for injuries in hospital. -- treated for injuries in hospital. At least one building has been destroyed in the neighbouring area of Carngham. Christine Ahern is standing by there this morning. It has been a shocking night for Victoria, hasn't it, Chris?PHONE: It certainly has, learn leash. I have just been out on a tour with the divisional commander out into the affected area. I can tell you there are still fires burning there, but they do have it under control. He told me they feared that up to a dozen properties have again, but they don't know that until daylight breaks. That is when a team will be going out and they will be able to really assess the damage. What is confirmed is the historical multimillion-dollar horse-breeding CarnghamTation has been raised from the ground and there are fears up to 200 cattle have also been destroyed, amongst other livestock. That is devastating for the community here, that historical CarnghamTation is gone. As you mentioned, about six people at the Ballarat hospital have said were treated for superficial burns and smoke inhalation. That clouds a father and son that sought shelter in a dam as this firestorm hit this area about 4:00 yesterday afternoon. It was described as a very quick- moving fire. People didn't have a lot of time before the fire was upon them. Now, the divisional commander has told me that the main concern for them today is to get this fire out, these fires out. He said there is a lot of haystacks burning. They need to get that out today when cooler conditions are on us because on Freud, of course, those conditions heat up -- Friday, of course, the conditions heat up and we have more winds so today, he says, is vital.Christine, what can you tell us about the situation in other parts of the State in Victoria?We've out this fire out in Kentbruk that started in a pine plantation that has been burning for a couple of days. It has burnt 9, 500 hectares and it is still out of control. There are some good news this morning, however. Homes in Drik Drik and Dartmoor, which were under threat are now considered to not be under threat. A lot of residents had evacuated but the CFA is saying they are no longer under threat. They obviously need to get this fire under control because other townships will start to come under threat. This morning, however, there has been a far more urgent response close to Melbourne in Melbourne's north-west in Keilor East. A fire broke out, a grass fire broke out, which threatened an aged-care facility and a number of homes. Firies managed to save that - or a railway actually proved to be a very vital fire problem. Firies say that this was deliberately lit. It was the third fire in six hours in the Brimbank area and police are investigating sightings of youths in the area as to whether they started those fires. Very lucky that no houses were lost in this Keilor fire, Alicia. Devastating all the same for all of the residents there. Christine Ahern, thank you very much for that. We will come back to you soon. Nine News reporter Matthew Snelson joins us now live from Bega on the NSW south coast. Many Matt, take us through the situation where you are? Hfrpblgt Alicia, after a terrible scare yesterday things are much better here today in Bega.The fire is just 10 minutes north of here coming so close to homes but now is pretty much contained. Firefighters have worked through the night. About 30 worked through the night to contain that blaze which of course started as a grass fire. After a car ignited on the farm, about a dozen properties came under threat. The fir burnt through a couple of kilometres. It got so fierce that a second blaze started up through embers and then the two joined together and it was really a huge fire. But overnight firefighters were able to get the upper hand and a cool change has swept through here this morning. It is probably only about 15 degrees outside, very cool. There was rain overnight as well. So the residents who fled the area yesterday and are waking up this morning in baoeg G have some very good news that they probably will be able to return home today. The fire is still going, but it will take a couple of days to put out. At the moment, it is not threatening homes in that area, Alicia. So some very good news. Yeah, that is good news, Matt. We were hearing of dozens, more than 100 blazes burning in NSW yesterday. Can you keep us upthe date with what is happening with the blazes around the State.Yeah, well, 30 of those 136 fires are uncontrolled at this stage and 1,700 firefight pers on the ground. While the situation is pretty good here, it is certainly still concerning in other areas as well. But, definitely the col change has made its way up the -- cool change has made it way up the coast so that will help Sussex Inlet. It is still a hot day in northern NSW and out west, out at the riverina around Wagga hitting 28 degrees and till very hot and sunny out there as well. The danger is still there, but for firefighters on the ground battling the blaze, conditions will be much better for them today. Of course, there are several firefighters treated for heat stroke yesterday. Today, though, they may be grabbing jumpers when they are not actually on the fire ground because it is so cool this morning, just an extraordinary change. They are hoping that the rain we saw here on the south coast may spread to other paths and just assist them further, Alicia.Y.Alright, Matthew Snelson, thank you for bringing us up-to- date. Deb, it is certainly cool here in Cooma. The conditions are very, very gusty, inn. If there are embers around in this fire 15km east from here, that is concerning for firefighters. The cooler temperatures are bringing much relief to the very already exhausted firefighters, Deb.They are doing a tremendous job and the wind is the unpredictable factor here, as you say. Authorities are on alert in Tasmania as 40 bushfires burn across the State. One major out-of-control blaze is still directly threatening homes between Forcett and the Tasman Peninsula. Another two fires are also listed as uncontrolled. Now, despite the cooler temperatures today, there are still fears that a change in wind direction could fuel the fronts further. So far, around 100 homes have been lost during six straight days of bushfires. Meantime, three teenage boys have now been charged after allegedly lighting a fire in bushland in Sydney's west yesterday afternoon. The 14-year-old and two 15-year-old boys are accused of setting fire at Shalvey at around 1:00 when temperatures were in the 40s. The blaze tore through 10 hectares of bush and took fire crews 2.5 hours to bring under control. The boys will appear in court later this month.It has been a very hot and sticky night for much of NSW. Sydney was still 35 degrees at 9pm and only dropped 1 degree to 34 at midnight. The western suburbs sweltered through the evening with 33 degrees at Penrith at 2:00 this morning, but the mercury did begin to fall as a cool southerly change began to slowly blow through the State late last night and early into this morning. Sydney can expect some light drizzle this morning, ahead of a mostly sunny afternoon and a top of 25 degrees. Meantime, authorities are on high alert in Queensland where that State is bracing for a week-long stretch of heatwave conditions. Today reporter Lauren Ellis joins us now with more. Lauren, the mercury is set to soar today. Just how hot are we expecting it to get? The latest prediction for Brisbane is 36 degrees and it will be sweltering in Ipswich where it is expected to hit around 40. That is about 10 degrees above average for this time of year, but if it is hot in the south-east it will be extreme in western Queensland, particularly in the Darling Downs, Maranow and Warrego regions. Spare a thought for burds ville who are bracing for 46 degrees today, raising to 48 on the weekend. Firefighters are proposing for extreme conditions and already waterbombing blames have been deployed to western Queensland, which authorities say is very urn usual for this time of year. -- unusual for this time of year.Our normal fire season usually finishes in December, so this is a very long fire season for news Queensland. We've had a number of bad days, as fronts come through with destroy, gusty winds. The next couple of day -- Dry, gusty winds. The next couple of day also be similar. There are a number of fires burning across the Tate at the moment. That's right. Look, these hot, dry conditions have already started to strike. There are currently seven fires burning across Queensland, one of which yesterday included a fire at bribey island. Now, that ripped through a timber plantation and a water-bombing plane was brought in to keep the fire within controlment lines. There was also another fire at Torbul that went close to homes and firefighters believe that that one may have been deliberately lit. In Brisbane, we are expecting 36 degrees today. It will drop a little bit for Thursday and Friday, but it is going to be sweltering again on the weekend. Certainly disturbing when you hear of firebugs that play in those conditions. Thank you very much for. That David, that is the latest with the fire situation and it is really an unfolding situation as we go to air this morning.Thanks, Deb. Let's go to some weather now because that is what on everyone's mind around the country. Emma Freedman who is on the NSW south coast. How are you doing down there, Em?Good morning, David. It is alright down here at the moment, obviously in the Shoalhaven region yesterday temperatures did top the 42-degree mark, but now we are sitting on 17 degrees and we even have light drizzle. The wind has died down, which is good news. But as the other reporters mentioned earlier in the program, it could whip up at any time. We will remain vigilant throughout the morning, but now we will look at the forecast to see what is coming in your part of the woods today.

your part of the woods today.
Obviously some changeable weather conditions throughout Tasmania, Victoria and NSW over the copping days and we will keep you updated on those throughout the morning. Thank you, Em. We certainly will. Coming up after the break, our extended and special coverage of this bushfire emergency continues. We will bring you up to date with that emergency warning for a fire western of Cooma in Yarrabin. See you soon. This program is not captioned.

A very good morning to you. Welcome to your Wednesday morning. If you are just waking up, a fire disaster is ripping through states this morning and we are going to have central coverage for you throughout the morning. Let's take a look at the newspaper front pages for now, though. First up in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' "Facing the Firestorm". More than 140 fires were ablaze across NSW yesterday, up to 40 of them uncontained at any one time, destroying more than 55,000 hectares of land. Holmes. 'The Herald Sun' reports homes were destroyed in Country Victoria yesterday in the most destructive fire day since Black Saturday while scores of large blazes burned across the nation. "Playing with Fire" - 'The Daily Telegraph' says a gang of kiddie arsonists are being blamed for starting a bushfire which burnt out of control in Sydney' west yesterday, only metres away from houses. "Holding the Line" - 'The Australian' says after battling 320 blazes yesterday, firefighters will welcome cooler conditions across the three threatened states today.In other news, the 'West Australian' reports that the bar that allegedly served the drink that killed Perth teenager Liam Davies remained open yesterday as Indonesian police revealed that no investigation is being launch need his death. "Baby- Faced Criminals" - the 'The Adelaide Advertiser' says that children aged between 10 and 14 are increasingly being charged with assault-related crimes. An expert blamed the impact of violent entertainment. 'The Courier-Mail' reports that Queenslanders will struggle to keep their cool as a heatwave sweeps the state with temperatures in the mid-30s until next week. Finally, this is a great story - "Man for a Crisis" - the 'The Hobert Mercury' features Beaconsfield mine hero Todd Russell who took charge to lead the fire against a fire threat to Beaconsfield yesterday.Lightening the load a little bit, but scorching conditions at the Sydney International yesterday. Bernard Tomic's unbeaten start to 2013 continued, downing fellow Australian Marinko Matosevic. John Millman also progressed with an upset victory over Tommy Robredo while Tomic continued his superb run of form, outclassing Australia's top-ranked player. In the Sydney heat, Tomic wasn't mucking around. The contest was wrapped up in just over an hour. Doesn't look like we have got the audio there, so we will move on. He played brilliantly. He has a shot at revenge in the second round and takes on Florian Mayer who pummelled him in the Davis Cup last year. When you are one of the greatest tennis players of all time you, don't have to slug it out on practice courts all day. Serena Williams was more content with a light workout with friends yesterday. She put 60 girls through their paces with a new training app and despite the heat, there were plenty of smiles all around afterwards. It would have been a thrill to catch up with Serena Williams, I am sure. Shane Warne's cricketing career continues for at least another week after his side sealed a tart in the Big Bash finals after a win over 'The Sydney Morning Herald'. The Star Watch made 135 from their 20 overs with Brad Hodge and Dave Hussey the best with the bat. That total didn't look like enough as Chris Gayle finally hit some form. COMMENTATOR: Straight over the top for Chris Gayle and he's nailed it. He smashed the tournament's fastest 50 with 25 balls and got no help from his team-mates who lost 8 wickets for 41 wins falling 13 short of their target. They had an absolute horror of a season, the Thunder.Thanks, Tim. Now back to Alicia in Cooma.Thank you very much, David. Coming up after the break, we are going to get the very latest on the disaster unfolding in Victoria where at least 20 homes have been lost overnight. You are watching Today. Stay with us.

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A very good morning to you. We are coming to you from live southern NSW from the town of Cooma where incredibly it is quite freezing here this morning. I think it is only about 8 degrees. It is expected to heat up a little bit, but at least some relief for the firefights who have been working tirelessly. There is a warning in place for a fire in Yarrabin, 15S east from here. So we will be keeping you up to date on that throughout the morning. As we go to air, just to give you a bit of an overview, a statewide fire ban remains in place for NSW with 1,700 firefighters are battling close to 14 0blauzs, if you can believe it, and 30 of those remain uncontained. The major fires are burning near Cooma which is where we are in southern situation, Bungendoorer in Canberra and Yas in the Southern Tablelands. Meantime in Victoria, there have been shocking conditions overnight. Reports of up to 20 homes being lost at Chepstow, east of Melbourne. A massive blaze at Kentbruk, which has been burning since last Friday is still out of control in Victoria and edging closer to homes at Drik Drik and Dartmoor. In Tasmania, which of course has been hit so terribly by this disaster, rain and cooler weather is bringing some relief for firefighters but sadly the danger there is not over yet. We've got reporters on the ground across the three states for you this morning. Let's go first to Christine Ahern who is in Victoria. What is the latest where you are, Chris?Alicia, I just took a tour with the divisional commander out in the affected area and I have got the very latest. I can confirm that four properties in this area have been confirmed as destroyed. There are 10 other strucktures that have been affected, -- structures that have been affected, either destroyed or partially destroyed by this blaze, whether they be sheds or other structures and there are a number of other propertys that the CFA don't know whether they have been affected or not. They are sending out an impact team just at daylight to get the full extent of the damage, but at this stage, confirmed - four properties are gone, 10 other structures have been affected and one of those properties that have gone - that has been destroyed is the historical multimillion-dollar horse-breeding Carngham Station. It is devastating for everyone in this area. There is also reports up to 200 cattle have been lost and also other livestock, as that horse- breeding station was raised to the ground. This fire broke out at 4:00 yesterday afternoon and it was a very fast-moving fire. Residents had little time to escape. Six people were treated at Ballarat hospital for superficial burns and also smoke inhalation. Among those treated were a father and son, who sought refuge in the dam as the firestorm hit. 1,100 hectares here have been destroyed. It took about 350 firefighters to get this fire under control. Four waterbombers were used to control this blaze. I have been out in the area and there are still some spot fires burning a the firies tell me that is their main challenge today, to eradicate all of the spot fires ahead of Friday's conditions where the temperatures will heat right back up and we will have more strong winds as well, Alicia.That is terrible news, indeed, that forecast. Christine, what is the situation like elsewhere in the State?Alicia, we've had this fire in Kentbruk in the State's south- west right near the South Australian border that has been burning for a couple of days., 5700 hectares now have been destroyed. It is still out of control. There is a little bit of good tpwhus in that the town ships -- news in that the townships of Drik Drik and Dartmoor are no longer under direct threat. However, this CFS says if the wind changes, those townships will once again be under threat. 400 firefighters will be on the ground today to try to get that plaiz under control. Now closer to Melbourne, the MSB were kept very busy overnight. There was a fire in the Keilor area, just in Melbourne's north-west. Now firies say it was deliberately lit, a grass fire that threatened homes and an aged-care facility. They managed to get it under control. There was a railway that acted as a fire break and they managed to save those homes and an aged-care facility. However, it was the third fire in the Brimback area that was deliberately lit. There have been residents who have spotted youths in the area. Police are now investigating whether those youths were responsible for these fires that were deliberately lit and luckily firies managed to save those homes in that area. But here, Alicia, in Snake Valley, it will be another very busy day for firefighters.It certainly will. Christine Ahern there in Victoria, thank you very much for the update. Let's update you on the situation in NSW now where a total fire ban remains in place. Now, we are hearing that close to 140 separate blazes are still burning and 30 of those remain uncontained. There are 1,700 firefighters out there battling those blazes, as we speak. Kerrie Yaxley joins me now on the phone from just outside of Cooma where we are this morning. Kerrie, I understand that Cooma is one of the minute focuses for emergency crews this morning?PHONE: Yeah. That's right, Alicia. The reason is they are just dealing with an enormous fire. Their priority at the moment is to protect properties and at the moment the fire is burning through national park and it is burning quite wildly through dense bushland. The southerly change that was forecast hasn't been as strong as was predicted, so it hasn't actually pushed the fire back through the valley where there are properties. So that is good news there. As a result, the emergency threat has been downgraded to a watch and act threat. Part of the reason why conditions have improved here is there was actually some drizzle overnight and that subdued a lot of the fire and flips, simply because written pushes up the humidity in the air making it easier for the firefighters to do their job. We are expecting lower wind speeds today which of course will help. So at this stage, it is looking like Wednesday will be a kinder day for firefighters in the Cooma area Alicia.Alright, Kerrie. Thank you very much for. That it is hard to believe, isn't it, that the temperatures we had yesterday and just in this area alone how freezing it is this morning. At least that is hopefully bringing some relief to all of the firies who are doing a fantastic job out there. Sarah Harris this morning is at Basin View, which is near Sussex Inlet on the NSW south coast. Morning to you again, Sarah. Bring us up to date with what is happening where you are.Well, blaoeshblaoesh, if you can believe it n the last -- Alicia, if you can believe it, in the last 15 minutes we have started to see light drizzle, not only here but on the fire ground that is about 15 kms from Basin View where we are standing. You would think this would be a pretty huge help for firecrews, but, look, when I spoke to the RFS a short time ago they said it can actually hinder the strengthening of containment loins because it makes it very difficult for them to back-burn. Certainly they are welcoming the very cooler temperatures compared to yesterday's tops of more than 40 degrees. Now, this is an enormous blaze that fire crews are battling. So far it has burnt through 2, 500 hectares. It jumped the Princes Highway yesterday evening and started burning towards Sussex Inlet. It is still burning this morning and is still out of control. It forced around 500 people to be evacuated from Sussex Inlet to the local RSL. About 80 of those people were from the local nursing home, but we are hearing that those people have been allowed to return to their homes. Here at this roadblock I would say there are probably a couple of dozen cars that have been waiting here since 5:00 yesterday afternoon. They can't drive down the Prince Philip because it is still blocked of course by fire -- the Princes Highway because it is still blocked by fire. We are hearing that the highway will be re-opened around midday today. Still a long way for people trying to get back to their hopes. As I mentioned before, Alicia, the cooler conditions are around 24 degrees and very light drizzle will be crucial for firecrews trying to get a handing on this blaze, particularly before those temperatures and the winds start to pick.U later the week. But for now, the status here is watch and act, particularly in areas of Sussex Inlet, Bararra and shovel haven, Alicia.OK, Sarah. We will leave it there for now. Thank you very much. Deb, some good news with the weather conditions, but of course a very precarious situation fill facing many residents and also firefighters.Definitely an unfolding situation, Alicia, thank you. Three teenagers will appear in court at the end of the month charged with light ago fire that swept through bushland yesterday. Around 15 fire trucks responded to the blaze at Shalvey which took crews 2.5 hours to get under criminal. 10 hectares were burnt, but no properties were lost. The two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old were granted strict conditional bail after being arrested in the vicinity of the fire.Firefighters in Queensland are bracing for a busy week as ideal bushfire conditions prepare to take hold. Today reporter Lauren Ellis Jones us now from Brisbane where it is already starting to warm up. Lauren, what is being forecast for Queensland this week?Well, Brisbane is expecting 36 degrees today and Ipswich could top 40 degrees. As you said, firefighters are bracing for those extreme conditions, but spare a thought for everyone out in Birdsville, it could top 46 degrees out there today and could hit 48 degrees on the weekend. So absolutely sweltering conditions out there. Already these hot conditions combined with gusty wins have whipped up seven fires right across the State, including one at Bribie Island where water-bombing helicopters were brought in yesterday to bring it in containment lines and also another fire at Torbul which got extremely close to homes and authorities believe it may have been deliberately lit. Now, we have about 35 rural firefighters on stand-by ready to fight these extreme conditions and the last time we saw these sort of conditions was in early December where there was up to 50 fires burning at any one time and there was one home lost on Stradbroke Island. So, as I said, 36 degrees in Brisbane today, but it will drop and give authorities a bit of relief on Thursday and Freud before jumping again on the weekend. Worrying conditions on the way. Lauren, thank you. So, David, fire crews very much on high alert in Queensland.Let's get a look at the that
weather around the country because that is what is on everyone's mind this morning. Now to Emma Freedman who is in St George's Bay. What are we looking at for today, Emma.Good morning, David. This heat originally started because of a hot, stagnant air mass that moved from the centre of the country. You will remember around Perth at Christmas time they had days at a the 30- degree mark. It moved east to Adelaide and then further north to Tasmania and Victoria. Then up to New South Wales. This cool change is bringing so much relief to many changes of both NSW and Victoria at the moment. Temperatures are dropping about 20 degrees in only 10 hours, quit dramatic, right around the State. Particularly here in four ra where it was 42 degrees -- four ra where it was 42 degrees yesterday and now we are at the 27- degree mark. The wind has eased and there is drizzle falling. Good news here in terms of of the weather. We will take a better look at the capital cities to see what is in store for your neck of the woods.

Now a look at the forecast rainfall. Showers in Tasmania z throughout the day. Heavy thundery showers in the far north of the country. Keep an eye on the tropical cyclone Narelle in the north of the country. It will push rain towards Broome and Ninety Mile Beach as well. For Queensland next week, the heat will move further north. That is a given topping 36 degrees for many days in business over the next week. But all the inland heat, Alicia, that is a given during the summer. Birdsville 36 degrees, they regularly feel those temperatures and much the same for Bourke in NSW.

regularly feel those temperatures
and much the same for Bourke in NSW. Downdown Quite incredible, Em. We will come back to you soon. We will have the latest on the bushfire emergency that is unfolding in Yarrabin, just east of here where we are in Cooma this morning. We will bring you the very latest right after this.

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A very good morning to you. We are coming to you on 'The Today Show' live from Cooma in southern NSW where the bushfire emergency is unfolding. We will keep you upthe date with what is happening, of course, in Tasmania, but let's first go to Victoria where we find Craig Lapsley from the CFA in Victoria. Craig, reports are emerging of a bushfire near Chepstow that hit, just nowhere Ballarat. Take us through what happened there overnight?Overnight, we have done a lot of work on the containment lines. 17km of the parametre. 1100 hectares of fire and we have lost four houses, tin sheds and there is further assessments to be done this morning, but we also had two individuals, a father and son, who were escaping the fire in their vehicle. They were burnt. It wasn't from direct flames. They are being treated by Ambulance Victoria. There are a key couple of issues. It was started by a vehicle driving through a paddock. As simple as driving across a paddock to go to a tract tor. That started the fire. The winds weren't the traditional north-westerly winds. It was a south-westerly wind and one of the houses lost is a house that was part of the early settlement in that area, which is the Chepstow Major Homestead itself. Significant losses for what is relatively a small fire but very fast moving in Gracelands and central Victoria.That is devastating news coming out of Victoria, indeed. Craig, take us through what is happening in the rest of the State?The rest of the State, we have still got a Ken Rosewell Arena fire running in south-western Victoria. That will run today. -- Kentbruk fire running in south-western Victoria. We have severe weather in Victoria on Friday. The next day of importance in sict ya is Friday. We will see severe ratings in the western part of the State in central and parts of the north-east. Stay tuned. We are not out of it yet. We have a cool day in Victoria, which is very welcomed.It certainly is. We wish you the best throughout the date. Craig Lapsley from the CFA, thank you. Now to NSW where we find Shane Fitzsimmons. Shane, thanks again for your time. An emergency warning, I understand, was issued overnight for a fire which is near where we are this morning in Cooma at Yarrabin. What is the very latest on that?We have got no immediate threat to property anywhere in NSW at the moment, actually. So that is good relief and it is indicative of the extraordinary firefightering effort that has gone -- firefighting effort that has gone on overnight. The Yarrabin fire is 6, 500 hectares. There is no threat to any property immediately as I say, but we are looking at weeks before firefighter also be able to get the upper hand on that. It is difficult-to-access country so a long way off calling that one safe. Just how many fires are burning in NSW at the moment, Shane?We have still got 130, 140 fires across the State. 30 of those remain uncontained. The fire activity yesterday looks like it has burnt out at least 130,000 hectares, so you are talking a lot of activity, a lot of firefighters working throughout the night, a lot of communities still on high alert, still at risk and with statewide total fire bans today and that hot air moving up through the north of the state, a busy day ahead yet for firefighters, for fire managers and of course those communities affected by these conditions.Yeah, alright. Shane, we appreciate your time on again what is a very busy day and no doubt what was a very busy night overnight. We will come back to you soon. Shane Fitzsimmons from the RFS. Back to you, David. Thank you, Alicia. What an extraordinary job the firies and Emergency Services are doing, including the volunteers. After the break, the latest on the bushfire situation in Tasmania. We have special coverage throughout the morning. Stick with us here on Today. This program is not captioned.

The are e

Good morning to you, wherever you are. We are doing our special coverage of the fires across Australia today on 'The Today Show'. Let's go to Tasmania now where authorities remain on alert as 40 bushfires burn across the State. One major out-of-control blaze that is still directly affecting homes between Forcett and the Tasman Peninsula. We are joined by Nick Coe who is in Dunalley. Good morning to you, Nick. Has the threat been eased yet?The threat has been eased, David, good morning. It is a watch and about category fire at the moment. That means at the moment right now, there are no homes directly in the path of that blaze. Standing here in front of you, it is just a tick over 10 degrees in Dunalley, which is 32 degrees cooler than on Friday when the devastating fires came through and claimed so many homes. At this stage the wind is not causing concern here at least, it is gusting up to about 30kms an hour, but apparently the wind direction is not causing the fire any major concerns at this stage. Overnight in the north-west there were worries that some people might have to evacuate in townships to the west of Devonport. That didn't eventuate, fortunately, because the southerly change, which has now hit the mainland, probably came through here first, so that has allowed firefighters some relief in some areas. But, as you say, that force of fires already claimed 2, 500 hectares and the temps will be rising throughout the week. There is certainly in reason at the moment for firefighters to rest on their laurels, but given the temperature, the fact that the humidity has come up and the temperature has come down, in fact we've had a few drops of rain in the past few minutes, so you will take any sign like that as a welcome one, but obviously the watch and wait brief continues. The firies have done a remarkable job over the past few days. What is the outlook for today, Nick?The top temperature, would you believe, in Hobart today, David, is only expected to be 1 7 degrees. Hobart is not far from most of the fire fronts that were at their worst from Friday in into the early hours of sa Saturday. Given the forecast low 20s tomorrow and mid-to high 20s later on. Despite this wind, it is not too bad for fire conditions and it will allow the weary firefighters to get about and knock over some of the spot fires and even stumps that might be burning embers, to put them out where they can. That will reduce the risk as the risk of fire continues to rise throughout the end of the week. Thank you, Nick. Nick Coe in Dunalley, Tasmania. For the latest on the fires in Victoria and NSW is next including reports of houses that have been destroyed. We will be back in a moment. This program is not captioned. Graeme's Apia experience, taken
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A very good morning to you. If you are just waking up, we are coming to you live from Cooma this morning in southern NSW and I am pleased to say that I have Dave Darlington here with me who is the deputy incident controller for the Yarrabin fire that is burning just east of here in Cooma and has many, many residents concerned. Dave, thank you very much for your time. A busy night for you and crews overnight.Good morning. Well, what a contrast. Here I am with a jacket on this morning and yesterday everyone had sweat pouring off their brow. That is what the mountains are like down here. But, look, yesterday our crews worked really, really hard in incredibly difficult conditions and I am pleased to say that most property was saved yesterday due to some really good strategy with some hard-working firefighters supported by planes dropping fire -- water.I understand that police have been doorknocking giving people the option if they do want to get out. I understand that the fire front spans 92km?That is about right. We are dealing with a fire what is around about the 6,000 hectares or so. We are just trying to do some fine and mapping when we can get to in there this morning to confirm those figures, but look, we have been prioritising the properties that are likely to be under risk, working very closely with the police and doing some doorknocking yesterday and, indeed, during the evening, just to make sure that people are aware of what they would be facing. Look, it is one thing to branch standing here in the cold at the moment -- it is one thing to be standing here in the cold at the moment and not thinking about the fire, but it won't take much for the conditions to warm up again and for us to see active fire again. We have got a lot of work to do over the next couple of days before the hot weather comes again on Saturday. I was going to say hot weather is heading this way again on Saturday. The winds are quite gusty down here, which I assume would be dangerous for embers that are still burning. Look, we were actually expecting stronger wind during the night. We were bracing ourself for 30-40km/h winds coming in from the south which would have taken a fire that has taken a big run towards the east, heading towards the coast, and then suddenly it could take off to the north. We didn't experience that last night nor tu us toly. So lucky, if you like, in terms of the weather was on our side and that helped a lot.Have you heard of any loss of sheds or animals or anything like that?We are going to be assessing some losss that morning. We understand that some sheep have been impacted. Whether that need to be put down or whether there are serious injuries amongst those sheep, it is too early the say yet, but we should know in a few hours. I believe that there was one shed lost yesterday, but, look, I think the positive side is that there were just so many homesteads saved and that was due to some really good firefightering tactics. We certainly have seen some big losses in Victoria, so lucky, indeed, here in NSW. What is the plan for today, in terms of putting out this large fire front? Is there going to be back-burning under way? Probably a combination of things: Firstly, we want to get some really good intelligence, so we will have people up in the air before too long trying to work out exactly how much of the fire edge is still alive. We did what is called a "line scan" about 3:00 in the morning, so that is thermal imaging from a plane that picks up the hot areas. We are youing that information, plus what we can see from -- using that information, plus what we can see from a helicopter to try to work out some good tactics. It will be a combination of direct attack and falling back, doing back-burning and probably constructing some new fire-control lines.The danger is not over yet. You are a busy man, Dave Darlington. We appreciate you taking time out to talk to 'The Today Show'.Thank you and thanks to the support of the community. Back to you, Deb.We have pictures coming into the news fire of the third fire to affect Brimbank Park in Keilor East overnight. Christine Ahern joins us with more from Chepstow in Victoria. Chris, there are suggestions that this fire in Keilor East was deliberately lit? Well, Deb, that is learnly what the MSB are saying. This blaze that broke out early this morning threatened homes and an aged-care facility. Firies managed to bring it under control before it managed to damage any properties. There was a railway there that acted as a natural fire break and they mained to get that under control, but it was the third fire they had been fighting in six hours in the area. They believe that they were all deliberately lit and residents have reported some youths in the area. It is now over to fire investigators and police to look into whether those youths are responsible for these fires. They are very lucky that no properties were destroyed in Keilor this morning.It really is so disturbing if fire bugs are to blame. Chris, there has been some fire damage where you R bring us up to date with what is happening in Chepstow. The very latest from this area 30kms west of Ballarat, Deb, from the CFA this morning is that four properties have been confirmed destroyed in this blaze. There are another 10 structures, out buildings and also sheds, that have also been destroyed, but there will be an impact assessment team going out shortly to see if any other properties have been affected in this blaze. Amongst those four properties that have been destroyed is the historical horse-bleeding Carngham Station. It is devastating for everyone in this area that that property has been raised to the ground. It is thought some 200 cattle is also gone amongst other livestock. 1,100 hectares in all in this area destroyed. There are some spot fires that are still burning and in those col conditions, firies are trying to get those spot fires out before we have some more extreme conditions on Friday. Luckily, nobody has been seriously injured. There was, however, six people taken to hospital with superficial burns and smoke inhalation including a father and son who were trying to escape the blaze.Chris, briefly, what is the fire situation around the rest of Victoria?There is still that intense blaze out in this south- west of Victoria near the South Australian border, Deb, in Kentbruk. It so far has burnt through more than00 hectares and it is still out of control. Now, the towns of Dartmoor and Drik Drik were in that fire' path. They are now no longer threat at this stage, but firies are warning that if the win direction changes or conditions change, those towns could once again come under threat. Are going be some 400 firefighters on the ground in Victoria essouth-west today to try to get that blaze under control.The danger is still very real. Christine Ahern, thank you. Now to breaking news in NSW where emergency crews are right now at a fire at Lithgow, west of Sydney, which is burning out of control. The blaze erupted earlier this morning and has scorched 40 hectares of land. The rural fire service is on the scene right now and we will have more information on this breaking story as we get it. Mt Authorities are on high alert in -- meantime, authorities are on high alert in Queensland. The State's south-east will feel the burn with Brisbane tipped to reach 36 degrees. Ipswich will reach 40. Eight fires are already burning across the State, including one at Bribie Island.Our normal fire season usually finishes in December so this is a very long fire season for us in Queensland. We've had a number of bad days, as fronts come through with destroy, gusty winds. The next couple of days will be similar.Hot, destroy and gusty winds will push some -- Hot, dry and gusty winds will push some districts no danger. Now to the sport.There is quite a bit about. Bernard Tomic and John Millman return to the courts following their first-round wins at the Sydney International. Bernard Tomic boat Marinko Matosevic, the centre- court encounter taking just over an hour.It is great playing in the tournaments here and doing well Thrive with that and I hope I can keep going after the season finishes here in Australia.Chris Gayle has finally fired in the Big Bash but even the fastest half century of the tournament couldn't snatch a win for 'The Sydney Morning Herald'. Instead, the Melbourne Stars won by 13 runs, giving Shane Warne at least one more match on Australian soil. The Gold Coast Titans have made a late bid for Michael Jennings, despite reports he could join the Roosters by the end of the week. The Blues Origin tar is expected to be released by the pan before the end of this week. Look at this one. If you have got -- by By the Panthers before the end of this week. Look at this one. This is a tree throwing competition. It brothers leaving it to rot, I suppose, -- it beats leaving it to rot, I suppose. That is what people get up to. If you have got a tree at home, toss it.50 degrees, not that hot when Tomic was playing. That is extraordinary. No wonder he wanted it over and done with quickly.No wonder it was under an hour! Now to Emma in St George's Basin. What is happening out there, Em?

David, the good news is they have opened up a portion of the Princes Highway at the moment leading down to Sussex Inlet here t Basins. They have opened up the roads so people can go down to the service station and get some supplies and also seek shelter because it has tared to drizzle down here. That doesn't mean the threat is over yet for this part of the State. Firies are still on alert and that fire continues to burn at Deans Gap. We will move down the road in the next half an hour and Sarah will have a further update for you. We will look at the weather and see what is happening with your national fly- around this morning.

We are going to continue down the road towards Sussex Inlet where locals are heading at the moment and hopefully see When theout look is in a little while.Thank you, Em. We look forward to it. There are dozens o fires still burning in Tasmania, NSW and Victoria. We will bring you the very latest right after this. Thanks for watching.

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Good morning to you. It is time for a little hit of entertainment and we check out the new movie with Jim Carrey and Steve Carell, as you have never seen them before and, first, the Australian Record Industry Association has announced the big winners of the year just gone and you will never guess who's come out on top. (SONG): # Hey, I just met you # And this is crazy # But here is my number #Yep, no nobody to say "maybe", it is a big "yes", Carlie ray Johnny Deppson's catchy little ditty has come in as the No. 1 shot on the Aussie charts for 2012. (Sings) # So here is my number # So call my number #Carlie Ray just holding out this guy... (SONG): # Gangnam style # That is enough of that with Guy Sebastian in at No. 3. (Sings) # These battle scars # Don't look like they're fading # Don't look like they are ever going away #Never get tired of hearing that. Guy's album 'Armageddon' also in at No. 9 on the album charts. At No. 1 on the Aria charts taking the top spot for the second year in three years, Pink with 'The Truth About Love'. (Sings) # Only one last kiss #And of course Pink is set to return to the concert stages of Australia in June. (Sings) # Only one last kiss # Alright, from 'The Truth About Love' is the 'Incredible Burt'. This is the new movie with two stars who play superstar illusionists who have ruled Las Vegas for years.MOVIE REEL: Of course you already knew that.Your ticket sale suck.What?That is until a street magician Steve Grey played by Jim Carrey gives them a run for their money.I have seen people walk on red-hot coals, but I have doubt you have seen anyone spend the night on red-hot coals. That looks very funny. Great cast. The incredible 'Incredible Burt' is out in March.You and Burt will stay in the box for the entire week?This is the best trick ever! Meantime, award season is now in full swing. Last night it was the New York Film Critics Choice Award, Rachel Weis winning a trophy for her role in a relatively small film 'The Deep Blue Sea'. Daniel Day Lewis was named best actor for playing Abraham Lincoln.MOVIE REEL: Until we cure ourselves of slavery, this amendment is... Matthew McConaghey was named best supporting actor for his roles in 'Magic Mike' and 'Bernie'. And the first female to win an Oscar for directing, Katherine Bigalow saw her film 'Dero Dark 30' named Best Picture. She once again was named best director.When was the last time you saw bin Laden?Oh, my God. Is that what I think it is? It looks so good. It is out on 31st of this month and of course Oscar nominations announced Friday morning. It is always a good day when Bon Jovi have a new song. Let's check it out 'Because We Can'. (Sings) # I don't want to be another one in the ocean # I am the life # I don't want to be the one -- I want to be the one you run to # When you need a shoulder # I am not a soldier # But I am here because I can... # I should point out, we have put these pictures over the song, a big anthemic anthem from Bon Jovi. The new album is called' What About Now' and it is out on March 22nd, not straying too much from their tried and true formula there.It sounds like it.The boys.It sounds like Bon Jovi.You want Bon Jovi, you have got it.That's what I want to hear. Back to Alicia in the southern parts of NSW. How are you, Alicia?Good, thank you, David. We have more information on the breaking news of the blaze in birth birth in NSW, which is just west of Sydney. Emergency crews are right now fighting that blaze which is burning out of control. I can tell you it erupted earlier this morning and now has scorched 40 hectares of land. The Rural Fire Service is on the scene right now and we are going to bring you more on that story coming up right after the break. Thanks for your company this morning. See you soon.

This program is not captioned. Smoke? Nah, I'm good.

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Good morning to you. We are coming to you live from Cooma in southern NSW where many bushfire emergencies is unfolding this morning. I'm pleased to say the mayor of Cooma has been able to join me this morning. Thank you very much for your time. Yesterday it must have been pretty hairy. There were dire predictions of what might happen here.It was a horrific morning. I really feel for people on farms that were affected. Where I live overlooks the pleins and you could see the fire which was initially contained. And you could see it break away. I was speaking to a couple of the firefighters on the scene who initially had it contained. One said there were some pine trees beside where it broke away. It got so hot, as he was putting the water on the tree it was evaporating. They had to get out, couldn't hold it. Unfortunately, it ran and there were panic stations with the winds, horrific winds, hot, dry wind. Which is a bit of a contrast to what we have today.It's a controst to be here and freezing at 8 degrees. And that wind feels like it's very fresh. How does that compare to what it was like yesterday?It was just so hot and dry and windy. And there was some dry storms, not so much but a few spots of rain came through yesterday. Everybody was worried of more lightning strikes. It was just a really worrying time. The good thing is that in a local town like Cooma, we had a local guest house operator contact me for any displaced people to come and stay. We had a federal member on the phone offering support from Federal Government which would have been needed if there was any bad scenarios. But luckily we got through T the guys did a great job. Unfortunately where the fire is, it will be alight for a number of weeks.The devastating Canberra bushfires 10 years ago are very much in the minds of people here. There must have been great panic yesterday thinking of a repeat that have situation?In 2003 we were here and we have some national parks and we didn't want to go through that again. Particularly we had probably three good summers where there's a lot of feet on the ground. Previously we had 10 years of drought and finally we've had some great seasons and now we've got these hot temperatures and facing a fire threat which we haven't seen, as you said, for 10 years. Look, it was one of those times that people don't want to live through yesterday.Police have been door-knocking in the area. Have you heard of many residents evacuating and getting out of the areas?There are little localities around the area. Most of the people I've spoken to decided to stay and protect their land. They've been reasonably well prepared. But there's other people I know that their plan was to get out. As we've all heard, you have to make that decision early. Yesterday people got caught where they weren't able to make the decision, it was made for them because the fires came that quickly. People are learning, they are well aware of what they should and shouldn't do. That does help firefighters.The one positive is that it really brings local communities together, doesn't it?A tragedy brings people together. Yesterday did. I mean, as I said, it was panic stations earlier. When the warnings went out people in Cooma, some people thought they were under threat themselves. People became very aware of everybody and what was going on. If there was going to be any tragedies, people wanted to be there to be able to help. That's the good side of these sorts of events.We appreciate your time. We know you're busy trying to talk to all of your local residents. Here are the top stories on today today. Homes destroyed and people injured - after a huge bush fire. At least one home has been destroyed. Melbourne emergency - three fires in the west, threatened homes and properties and are believed to have been deliberately lit. Hot conditions move to Queensland - as authorities brace for fire weather. We'll have special coverage from the fire zones throughout the morning right across the country. It is Wednesday 9 January. Let's get the details on this unfolding bushfire crisis gripping three states in

We have reporters on standby throughout the country.Let's get the latest in Victoria and NSW. Craig, let me start with you first. Let's begin with Chepstow where a number of fire homes have been destroyed.It was late in the day, David. It was after 4:30 in the afternoon. The winds were south- westly, they were very strong. It started from a vehicle driving a cross his paddock to get to his tracter and the fire started there. It ran very fast and went through the Chepstow homestead, one of the original home steds, well-known in the district gone. Total of four destroyed, 10 sheds lost and we'll get further assessments this morning, it could go as far as 20. People were driving, protecting their properties, they've run into smoke, it wasn't direct flame impact but heat. So their arms and face were burnt. They are OK, those two people, it could have been a very serious outcome for them. Also we had runs across to a caravan park where we had campers, police went in to make sure they arrived. They were on the other side of the lake, which gave some distance between them, but it would have been as simple as an devastation there. It was a pretty dynamic afternoon. It ran hard, fast, south-westly and it shows the conditions we have it. It will remain a hot spot for the rest of the summer. We need to be vigilant and learn.Did the residents have much notice?No, it ran real quick. We put out the warnings, the alarm over the radios, there was plenty of fire trucks in the area, well resourced. We ran two of the big aircraft on it. It started and ran real fast. In a couple of cases, we would have had houses involved in the first five minutes of the run. It's there - quick, it means you need to stay village lnt of what's happening around you and don't just rely on information. It needs to be you being vigilant of your area. Radio is one of the most dynamic ways. Check out the websites. I think it's about being aware of where you are and also the radio is the most dynamic way to pick up information about growing fires moving fast in the landscape.It seems like the message is getting out there this time around. What's the situation with those fires in Victoria's south-west?Look, the Kentburk fire is going since last Friday. Yesterday, a lot of work done to secure the rural farming community with 30 farming homes. Community meetings every day. A good, engaged community. It allows the community to ask questions, look at the maps and develop a plan. We are more comfortable today with a shower of rain. Conditions dropping into the 20s and 30s. Receiver danger predicted for the south-west on Friday, through to the Murray River. All of the central area and possibly north- east. Today is the cooler day of all, and we welcome that. We're back into it on Friday and the weekend. We'll see what comes. There is no forecast rain of significance. I think we're in for a long summer.Good luck to you and your team. Let's go to Shane Fitzsimmons. Can you give us an update on the fire we've been hearing about this morning?I understand it's just off the he is scarfment there as you come into the town in Lithgo. No immediate threat to any property. But clearly, that's occupying the attention of firefighters in the region.A total fire ban is in place today. Obviously, you are concerned of what may happen?Absolutely. Not only do we have a lot of area affected by fire right now. We have this hot dominant air mass moving up through the northern area of NSW. We will see receiver danger from Hunter to our west to places like Moree, a significant tract of country, the subject of difficult conditions. And the message is as we said yesterday - stay alert, stay informed, have your bushfire survival plan, take action.Thank you