Wild winds in warmest night since March, bushfire burns near Ballarat

Wild winds in warmest night since March, bushfire burns near Ballarat

September 7, 2020

Violent winds caused damage across Victoria overnight as Melburnians slept through the warmest night in the city since March.

Heavy winds will continue to gust through Melbourne and some regional areas as firefighters attempt to bring a bushfire under control near Ballarat. The fire is not threatening homes.

The strongest northerlies, which sparked hundreds of calls to the SES, arrived just before midnight on Monday until about 1am. A 100km/h gust was recorded at Melbourne Airport, 93km/h was recorded at Essendon and a 90km/h wind was recorded at Port Philip Bay.

"It was a similar number of calls for the recent storm events, mostly concentrated in the outer eastern suburbs and the Dandenong ranges," an SES spokesman said, adding there were about 150 fallen trees and 35 calls for building damage.

With an overnight minimum of 18.8 degrees in the city, it was the warmest city night since March 29.

Winds will persist throughout Tuesday morning and the temperature will rise to about 20 degrees before a cold front causes the wind to ease and temperature to drop.

"We're expecting some showers around the metro area until the early afternoon, then easing in the evening," Chris Arvier, senior forecaster at the Bureau of Meteorology, said.

A severe wind warning is in place for areas including Ballarat, Geelong, Melbourne, Wonthaggi, Bacchus Marsh and Falls Creek.

The wind may make firefighting efforts more difficult near Ballarat where two fires are burning about 20km away from one another.

A bushfire 10km south of Buninyong is not yet under control. The fire is travelling from near River Road, Grenville in a southerly direction towards Mt Mercer. An advice warning has been issued for the localities of Cargerie, Elaine, Enfield, Grenville and Mount Mercer.

"There is currently no threat to communities, but you should continue to stay informed and monitor conditions," a VicEmergency warning reads.

In Canadian, a suburb in the east of Ballarat, a grass and scrub fire is under control. Residents in the localities of Canadian, Mount Clear, Mount Helen, Navigators and Warrenheip have been advised to monitor the conditions.

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