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Thousands caught on the beach while the sky turns red amid Australian forest fires

Thousands of people are trapped on a beach in the middle of Australia apocalyptic scenes after being surrounded by furious forest fires.

Ghostly photos of the coastal town of Mallacoota show how the sky turned blood red on New Year’s Day, because smoke from nearby fires enveloped the sun and reduced visibility to just a few meters, even in the middle of the day.

Witnesses told how ash and embers rained from the air, accompanied by a deafening roar from the flames, while the sound of exploding gas bottles could be heard in the distance as the fires approached.

With emergency sirens ringing through the air, they said on the beach and nearby jetties that they spent the day waiting for an order to go into the ocean to stop being burned alive. At one point the flames would have hit the beach within a few hundred meters.

The Australian Defense Force said that Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters will scramble past naval boats to rescue stranded tourists and locals after refusing to respond to an evacuation warning given on Sunday.

Three people are feared dead in neighboring New South Wales as fires burst along the coast, threatening Mogo Zoo, where a team of 15 keepers desperately try to prevent the flames from destroying paddocks, including a true giraffe on Tuesday.

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4,000 people got stuck on a beach in the town of Mallacoota, in the state of Victoria, after being surrounded by uncontrolled fires that turned the sky blood red.

4,000 people got stuck on a beach in the town of Mallacoota, in the state of Victoria, after being surrounded by uncontrolled fires that turned the sky blood red.

Some of those detained jumped into boats and went out into the ocean, while others put on life jackets and spent New Year's Day preparing for an order to get into the water to prevent them from being burned alive

Some of those detained jumped into boats and went out into the ocean, while others put on life jackets and spent New Year's Day preparing for an order to get into the water to prevent them from being burned alive

Some of those detained jumped into boats and went out into the ocean, while others put on life jackets and spent New Year’s Day preparing for an order to get into the water to prevent them from being burned alive

Witnesses told how ash and embers rained from the sky when a loud roar could be heard from the flames above the sound of emergency sirens sounding in the city

Witnesses told how ash and embers rained from the sky when a loud roar could be heard from the flames above the sound of emergency sirens sounding in the city

Witnesses told how ash and embers rained from the sky when a loud roar could be heard from the flames above the sound of emergency sirens sounding in the city

Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters are being prepared to rescue locals and tourists stranded after ignoring an evacuation order issued on Sunday

Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters are being prepared to rescue locals and tourists stranded after ignoring an evacuation order issued on Sunday

Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters are being prepared to rescue locals and tourists stranded after ignoring an evacuation order issued on Sunday

Terrifying photos show residents of Batemans Bay surrounded by thick smoke while waiting on the beach. Many people wear scarves to protect themselves against smoke

Terrifying photos show residents of Batemans Bay surrounded by thick smoke while waiting on the beach. Many people wear scarves to protect themselves against smoke

Terrifying photos show residents of Batemans Bay surrounded by thick smoke while waiting on the beach. Many people wear scarves to protect themselves against smoke

Giraffes are seen stranded in an open field while bushfire bursts into Mogo Zoo in New South Wales - while an army of 15 brave animal keepers guard with snakes and nozzles to save the animals

Giraffes are seen stranded in an open field while bushfire bursts into Mogo Zoo in New South Wales - while an army of 15 brave animal keepers guard with snakes and nozzles to save the animals

Giraffes are seen stranded in an open field while bushfire bursts into Mogo Zoo in New South Wales – while an army of 15 brave animal keepers guard with snakes and nozzles to save the animals

Authorities believe that more than 4,000 people are still trapped in Mallacoota, in the East Gippsland region of Victoria, which was hit by a fire at around 8:30 am on Tuesday. Four people are missing in flames that have destroyed at least 43 homes.

In some places, the flames were so intense, the smoke so thick and dry lightning storms caused by fire, so intense that air reconnaissance and water bombing had to be stopped, the New South Wales Rural Fire Service said.

For those hiding in Mallacoota, there was some relief on Tuesday evening when the state’s Country Fire Authority said a wind change had wiped out the fire from the city.

“I understand that there is public acclaim at the jetty when it was announced,” said CFA Vice President Steve Warrington.

Temperatures in bushfire areas can hit hundreds of degrees Celsius (Fahrenheit), killing everyone in the neighborhood long before the flames reach them.

Flight to the ocean is a “last resort” according to Victoria’s emergency management office.

Local radio journalist Francesca Winterson said she watched the fire approach the city and her own house, while trying to send out emergency warnings during a power outage.

“I’d rather live than have a house,” she told ABC Gippsland.

The unprecedented forest fires in Australia have been burning for months, but the latest in a series of heat waves and strong winds have caused a new devastation.

The crisis has hit cities like Sydney and Melbourne, where millions of people live.

The sky glows red while forest fires rage in Mallacoota, Victoria

The sky glows red while forest fires rage in Mallacoota, Victoria

People evacuating on boat in Mallacoota, Victoria

People evacuating on boat in Mallacoota, Victoria

Four people were reported missing in Victoria, while another two were confirmed in neighboring New South Wales, with a fifth not mentioned (depicted, apocalyptic scenes in Mallacoota)

The sky glows red while forest fires continue to rage on New Year's Eve in Mallacoota, Victoria

The sky glows red while forest fires continue to rage on New Year's Eve in Mallacoota, Victoria

The sky glows red while forest fires continue to rage on New Year’s Eve in Mallacoota, Victoria

A resident who took refuge on a houseboat in Mallacoota and took this photo when the smoke blew out the sun

A resident who took refuge on a houseboat in Mallacoota and took this photo when the smoke blew out the sun

A resident who took refuge on a houseboat in Mallacoota and took this photo when the smoke blew out the sun

Emergency vehicles and nervous residents protect against forest fires as they approach the city of Mallacoota, Victoria

Emergency vehicles and nervous residents protect against forest fires as they approach the city of Mallacoota, Victoria

Emergency vehicles and nervous residents protect against forest fires as they approach the city of Mallacoota, Victoria

On Monday, around 100,000 people were urged to flee five suburbs of Melbourne when the spiral bushfire crisis killed a volunteer fireman who fought a separate rural fire.

Authorities in the country’s second largest city have downgraded a previous bushfire emergency warning, but said residents should not avoid the fire that burned 40 acres of grassland.

Local media showed images of water bombers flying over neighborhoods and families who turned down their homes hoping to stop the spread of the fire.

A volunteer firefighter died in the state of New South Wales and two others suffered burns working on a fire more than five hours southwest of Sydney, according to the Rural Fire Service.

“The truck is believed to roll when it was hit by extreme wind,” the agency said, adding that the man left a pregnant woman behind.

Ten others, including two voluntary firefighters, have been killed so far this fire season.

The fires destroyed more than 1,000 houses and scorched more than three million hectares (7.4 million hectares) – an area larger than Belgium.

The mercury reached 47 degrees Celsius (117 Fahrenheit) in Western Australia and reached 40 degrees in every region – including the mostly temperate island of Tasmania.

The crisis has drawn attention to climate change – which scientists say is creating a longer and more intense bushfire season – and led to street protests calling for immediate action to tackle global warming.

Although Conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison late acknowledged a link between the fires and climate change, he has continued his fervent support for the lucrative coal mining industry in Australia and excluded further action to reduce emissions.

Sydney was again wrapped in poisonous bushfire haze on Tuesday. City officials said the New Year’s Eve fireworks would go on in Sydney, but a similar event has been canceled in Canberra and several regional cities.

Authorities said that Mallacoota is 'currently under attack' and that a number of houses have been lost throughout the community

Authorities said that Mallacoota is 'currently under attack' and that a number of houses have been lost throughout the community

Pictured: Vision shows the fire opposite Betka Beach

Pictured: Vision shows the fire opposite Betka Beach

Authorities said that Mallacoota is ‘currently under attack’ and that a number of houses have been lost throughout the community. Pictured: Vision shows the fire opposite Betka Beach

“We are deeply concerned about communities that have become isolated and to gain appreciation for other losses helicopters may come with reconnaissance flights,” said Emergency Crisis Commissioner Andrew Crisp

The sky turns orange when forest fires approach Mallacoota in East Gippsland, Victoria, with dozens of houses destroyed

The sky turns orange when forest fires approach Mallacoota in East Gippsland, Victoria, with dozens of houses destroyed

The sky turns orange when forest fires approach Mallacoota in East Gippsland, Victoria, with dozens of houses destroyed

A handful of houses were visible around 2 p.m., but the authorities claim that the fire in the central CBD is being stopped

A handful of houses were visible around 2 p.m., but the authorities claim that the fire in the central CBD is being stopped

A handful of houses could protrude around 2 p.m., but the authorities claim that the fire in the main CBD is being stopped

Prime Minister Daniel Andrews said he had asked the Australian Defense Force to help provide the community with food, water and power.

He said the authorities were concerned about four people without accountability in the Eastern Gippsland region.

“We really fear for their safety. They have been in active fire environments and we cannot explain it, “said Mr. Andrews.

Andrews said there was also “substantial loss” of property while fire continues to tear through the area.

“These fires, especially in Eastern Gippsland, at night and yesterday, created their own weather,” he said.

“That’s how fierce, those fires were that active. Very significant losses were incurred in the areas of ownership, supplies, fencing, shedding. ”

The Prime Minister had sent a text message on Tuesday morning with Prime Minister Scott Morrison about support for the recovery effort.

“We have a number of plans ourselves, but there may be ways in which the ADF can support us.”

The resident Jann Gilbert has shared terrifying images from the city.

“The fire front is now very close,” she says in the video she shared on Facebook.

‘Unless you are here, you can’t even imagine what it is like.

“It’s hard to breathe even with a mask on.”

Authorities said that Mallacoota is ‘currently under attack’ and that a number of houses have been lost throughout the community.

Burning embers cover the ground while firefighters fight against forest fires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales

Burning embers cover the ground while firefighters fight against forest fires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales

Burning embers cover the ground while firefighters fight against forest fires around the town of Nowra in the Australian state of New South Wales

Firefighters spray trees while fighting forest fires around the city of Nowra in the state of New South Wales

Firefighters spray trees while fighting forest fires around the city of Nowra in the state of New South Wales

Firefighters spray trees while fighting forest fires around the city of Nowra in the state of New South Wales

Firefighters spray trees while fighting forest fires around the city of Nowra

Firefighters spray trees while fighting forest fires around the city of Nowra

Firefighters spray trees while fighting forest fires around the city of Nowra

Authorities believe that at least 4000 people are imprisoned in Mallacoota, in the far east of the state. Pictured: dark skies on Tuesday morning

Authorities believe that at least 4000 people are imprisoned in Mallacoota, in the far east of the state. Pictured: dark skies on Tuesday morning

Authorities believe that at least 4000 people are imprisoned in Mallacoota, in the far east of the state. Pictured: dark skies on Tuesday morning

“We have three strike teams in the community, literally side by side with our community on the beach, because they protect the two townships, up to two streets in it,” CFA chief Steve Warrington told reporters.

“Reports from crews with whom I spoke on the ground half an hour ago are pitch black. It’s pretty scary in that community. “

Emergency Crisis Commissioner Andrew Crisp said that no evacuation order was issued for Mallacoota – despite authorities encouraging residents in other parts of East Gippsland to flee.

“They had to check their options at community and regional level and make a risk analysis of it,” Crisp said.

“We decided it would be unsafe to bring them back along the Princes Highway. At the same time you have fires in New South Wales. It is therefore difficult to move north of Mallacoota.

“When examining all those options, looking at the risk assessment, it was then decided yesterday afternoon mid-afternoon … the safest place for them to say was certainly in Mallacoota.”

The Mallacoota fire interrupted power to the city, with AusNet Services reporting 5700 properties in East Gippsland without electricity due to the fires, and another 1800 in northeastern Victoria.

Mobile and fixed telephone lines have also been partially left behind.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the temperature recorded in Mallacoota jumped to 49 ° C at 8 a.m. before falling to 24 ° C at 9 a.m.

“It’s not pleasant, it’s very dark here and the emergency vehicles have disappeared,” resident and local radio presenter Francesca Winterson told ABC Gippsland.

‘The electricity has been here for a long time and we no longer have solar energy.

“My house is on the firepath, I won’t have a house, that’s how it will be, we must try to be calm.”

A resident wrote on Twitter: “The darkness in Mallacoota is completely surreal. Not far away pitch black as this should be a nice sunny morning. “

Smoke and flames rise from burning trees while forest fires hit the area around the city of Nowra in the state of New South Wales

Smoke and flames rise from burning trees while forest fires hit the area around the city of Nowra in the state of New South Wales

Smoke and flames rise from burning trees while forest fires hit the area around the city of Nowra in the state of New South Wales

Fires burn trees on a home while forest fires hit the area around the city of Nowra

Fires burn trees on a home while forest fires hit the area around the city of Nowra

Fires burn trees on a home while forest fires hit the area around the city of Nowra

The main street of Bombala, New South Wales, is depicted in smoke from nearby forest fires

The main street of Bombala, New South Wales, is depicted in smoke from nearby forest fires

The main street of Bombala, New South Wales, is depicted in smoke from nearby forest fires

A fire truck drives through the main street of Bombala, the city in New South Wales

A fire truck moves through the main street of the city of Bombala in New South Wales

A fire truck drives through the main street of Bombala, the city in New South Wales

“This is the worst that is now waiting. Pitch black. The roar of … something. No visible fire but we (and our CFA neighbor) are sure it will come. ”

Michelle Roberts, who, together with a few others, sought shelter in her cafe Croajingolong, told it The age: “I can describe it as probably hell on earth.”

Mrs. Roberts said she felt sorry for the people who were camping outside and that she felt safer in the concrete building.

“If it gets really bad, I’ll open it [the cafe] to get people in, “she said.

“If the worst comes to the worst, we have to run for it.”

Fire trucks roll into Mallacoota, while residents and holiday makers are trapped on the beach

Fire trucks roll into Mallacoota, while residents and holiday makers are trapped on the beach

Fire trucks roll into Mallacoota, while residents and holiday makers are trapped on the beach

The fires grew rapidly on Monday evening due to wind and lightning strikes, which tore through more than 200,000 hectares in East Victoria Gippsland

The fires grew rapidly on Monday evening due to wind and lightning strikes, which tore through more than 200,000 hectares in East Victoria Gippsland

The fires grew rapidly on Monday evening due to wind and lightning strikes, which tore through more than 200,000 hectares in East Victoria Gippsland

A dead Kangaroo is seen in Sarsfield, Eastern Gippsland, where thousands of people are trapped by forest fires

A dead Kangaroo is seen in Sarsfield, Eastern Gippsland, where thousands of people are trapped by forest fires

A dead Kangaroo is seen in Sarsfield, Eastern Gippsland, where thousands of people are trapped by forest fires

Molten metal runs from a burnt-out vehicle on a destroyed site in Sarsfield, East Gippsland

Molten metal runs from a burnt-out vehicle on a destroyed site in Sarsfield, East Gippsland

Molten metal runs from a burnt-out vehicle on a destroyed site in Sarsfield, East Gippsland

Hundreds of people in the small town of Buchan were crammed into the football oval at night while taking refuge in the danger.

Residents and holidaymakers were told to leave the region on Monday morning, when the authorities were preparing to close the Princess Highway in the midst of the deteriorating circumstances.

Emergency Crisis Commissioner Andrew Crisp said it was too dangerous for people to leave on Monday after 9 a.m. because fires got out of hand and conquered East Gippsland.

“If you’re not gone by 9 in the morning, you have to stay where you are, because there’s a good chance the Princes Highway will be cut,” he told Sunrise.

The Princes Highway between Bairnsdale and Genoa was then closed at 1 pm and remains closed.

Australia’s famous Mogo Zoo is right in line with the out-of-control Clyde Mountain bushfire, and firefighters warned that there is nothing they can do to save the attraction.

The animal enclosures of the zoo were threatened by the 31,000-hectare fire that burned in the north around the town of Batemans Bay on the south coast of New South Wales.

The vast Mogo Zoo houses around 200 animals and the largest collection of primates in Australia – as well as giraffes, lions, tigers, southern white rhinos and red pandas.

VicTraffic said: “The Princes Highway in East Gippsland will remain closed between Bairnsdale and Genoa because of the fires. Important road closures are the Bonang and Great Alpine roads and Monaro Highway. “

On Sunday, local retailer Richard Darby warned residents and tourists who chose to ignore the warnings that it could be “suicide.”

“Tomorrow’s going to be a very bad day, they tell everyone to leave as long as they can,” Darby said The Herald Sun..

Mayor John White from Eastern Gippsland said that bushland in the region was bone dry after three years of drought.

“Hopefully people listen to the messages. You can rebuild houses, barns and fences, but life is irreplaceable, “he said.

Firefighters near the city of Sussex Inlet, on the outskirts of Sydney, are preparing to defend homes against advancing fires

Firefighters near the city of Sussex Inlet, on the outskirts of Sydney, are preparing to defend homes against advancing fires

Firefighters near the city of Sussex Inlet, on the outskirts of Sydney, are preparing to defend homes against advancing fires

A police officer from New South Wales prepares for his roadblock on the Princes Highway near the city of Sussex Inlet

A police officer from New South Wales prepares for his roadblock on the Princes Highway near the city of Sussex Inlet

A police officer from New South Wales prepares for his roadblock on the Princes Highway near the city of Sussex Inlet

Clifton Creek Primary School has been swept away by a bushfire in East Gippsland (photo)

Clifton Creek Primary School has been swept away by a bushfire in East Gippsland (photo)

Clifton Creek Primary School has been swept away by a forest fire in East Gippsland (photo)

Mallacoota, in Victoria, was still pitch black at 8.4 p.m. on Tuesday

Mallacoota, in Victoria, was still pitch black at 8.4 p.m. on Tuesday

Mallacoota, in Victoria, was still pitch black at 8.4 p.m. on Tuesday

Residents in the Eastern Gippsland region were encouraged to flee on Monday morning as the authorities prepared for the deteriorating circumstances

Residents in the Eastern Gippsland region were encouraged to flee on Monday morning as the authorities prepared for the deteriorating circumstances

Residents in the Eastern Gippsland region were encouraged to flee on Monday morning as the authorities prepared for the deteriorating circumstances

The Bureau of Meteorology said the temperature registered in Mallacoota has jumped to 49 ° C at 8 a.m. and has fallen to 24 ° C at 9 a.m.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the temperature registered in Mallacoota has jumped to 49 ° C at 8 a.m. and has fallen to 24 ° C at 9 a.m.

The Bureau of Meteorology said the temperature registered in Mallacoota has jumped to 49 ° C at 8 a.m. and has fallen to 24 ° C at 9 a.m.

THE FIRE OF EAST GIPPSLAND

WHAT IS GOING ON?

* Fires have been ripped through more than 200,000 hectares in Victoria’s Eastern Gippsland, an estimated Tuesday morning was estimated after rapid growth amidst winds and lightning strikes at night

* Seven emergency warnings, the highest warning, remain in place in East Gippsland

* Another one in place for a fire that extends across the northeastern Victoria-NSW border at Corryong / Walwa

* The coastal holiday town of Mallacoota is one of those directly threatened, with around 4,000 people reportedly still being told to go into the water in the area

THE FALLOUT So far:

* Property has been lost in eastern Victoria, but authorities say it’s too early to confirm how many or their locations

* Thousands of properties have lost power, with AusNet Services reporting that electricity has been switched off at 5700 properties in East Gippsland and another 1800 in Northeast Victoria

* Optus says its mobile customers may experience disruptions in Tambo Crossing, Mallacoota, Cann River, Tonghi Creek, Mt Raymond, Marlo, Orbost, Waygarra and Mt Nowa Nowa

WHAT’S NEXT?

* A cool change swept through Eastern Gippsland after extreme heat on Monday, but windy conditions remain, further fueling the fires and spreading ash

* Prime Minister Daniel Andrews will join the emergency services at 11 am to provide an update on the situation

SOURCE: AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PERS

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