24 Dec 2009

Flood warning for NSW as fires threaten Victoria

10:23 pm on 24 December 2009

In Australia, a severe flash flood warning has been issued for parts of New South Wales.

Emergency services have warned that the dregs of Cyclone Laurence, which has left a trail of damage across the coast of Western Australia, is moving towards New South Wales.

It's bringing heavy rain and flooding for northwestern and central parts of the state on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.

A senior forecaster for the New South Wales Bureau of Meteorology, Peter Zmijewski, says about 100 millimetres of rainfall are expected over parts of New South Wales.

He says the southern parts of the state, which have been worst affected by drought, will not get much rain.

New South Wales will be on flood and fire watch for Christmas.

Meanwhile the NSW Rural Fire Service says milder conditions mean no fires are causing immediate concern but there are still 51 fires burning across the state. The fire danger is rated extreme in the state's southwest.

Fires in Victoria

Firefighters are battling two blazes in East Gippsland in Victoria.

A change in wind conditions is expected to put pressure on containment lines but push fires away from properties and major roads.

Water bombing helicopters were earlier brought in to help control the fires, including a 7000-hectare blaze southwest of the township of Cann River, which started this morning.

Earlier today fire authorities evacuated campers in regions across the state due to the extreme conditions caused by high temperatures and strong winds.

Victoria's bushfire threat comes after two fires on Wednesday destroyed 13 homes and an emergency services base in the South Australian communities of Port Lincoln and Kingston on the Lower Eyre Peninsula.