Victorian bushfires: Homes lost, four missing_1


The military will be brought in to help local emergency services as Victoria fights devastating bushfires in East Gippsland, with thousands of people seeking evacuation and four people unaccounted for.

More than 200,000 hectares of land is being ravaged by fire.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed on Tuesday afternoon he would respond to Premier Daniel Andrews' earlier plea for military assistance.

He said call for extra firefighters would extend as far as the US and Canada – and help is expected to arrive as soon as a week's time.

"[The] federal government, especially our defence forces, are working together with the Victorian government to respond to Victorian bushfires," Mr Morrison wrote on Twitter.

At a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said people in East Gippsland confirmed 24 properties at Buchan and 19 at Sarsfield had been destroyed in fires. Eight emergency alerts remain in place.

Mr Crisp confirmed four people remained unaccounted for, and said emergency services were recruiting helicopters to drop food and other goods to affected, isolated centres. The Princes Highway remains closed.

Authorities provided no further details about the missing people.

Mr Crisp said Australian Defence Force personnel would be on the ground in East Gippsland and north-east Victoria on Wednesday. They will carry out initial impact assessments, and fly in food and emergency supplies.

CFA chief officer Steve Warrington confirmed the fire front had passed the town of Mallacoota, which was one of the main concerns for loss of life and property.

"The wind change has gone through and it's now bypassed that town," Mr Warrington said on Tuesday afternoon.

"I understand there was a cheer public cheer down at the jetty when that was announced.

"But having said that – as we said before – there are still active fires in that area and they're still actively extinguishing houses that have burnt down on the outskirts of Mallacoota. That work will continue."

Keep up to date with the latest on the Victorian bushfires here

-with agencies