Weather cools but fire warnings remain | Pacific Beat

Weather cools but fire warnings remain

Weather cools but fire warnings remain

Updated 9 January 2013, 10:27 AEDT

While yesterday most of Australia's eastern seabord was in readiness for bushfires, conditions have eased overnight, although many blazes are still alight.

Last night hundreds of people spent the night in evacuation centres around NSW. The state escaped major damage, but many residents and tourists weren't taking the risk of being caught by bushfire during the night.

The tourist town of Sussex Inlet on NSW's south coast is home to two evacuation centres for people avoiding a dangerous forest fire to the town's west, and overnight those there almost had to deliver a baby while sheltering from the fire.

The New South Wales Rural Fire Service has downgraded the threat ratings of all major bushfires around the state following a favourable change in conditions overnight.

Thirty blazes are still uncontrolled. Tasmania's Fire Service has urged residents not become complacent as forecast cooler conditions reduce the bushfire threat. Almost 130 properties have been damaged in the past week, mostly on the Tasman Peninsula in and around Dunalley. About 100 people are still unaccounted for, but no deaths have been reported. In Victoria fire crews have spent the night assessing damage caused by a large grassfire which destroyed several homes in a farming area, west of Ballarat in Central Victoria. Today crews will use cooler conditions today to try to contain fires burning near Portland, in the state's south west, and near Goroke, in the Wimmera.

Presenter: Will Ockendon

Speaker: Jim Sigsworth, Sussex Inlet RSL Club; Jason Kemp, Sussex Inlet local

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