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Hot, dry and windy conditions have fuelled a huge blaze that has swept across parts of Victoria in South Australia.

Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology says the circumstances have created a situation with “extreme to catastrophic fire dangers”.

More than 30,000 people have been ordered to evacuate in parts of the province. The deadline given was Wednesday at midday, after that authorities deemed it too late to leave.

Severe thunderstorms have been predicted for the region, but it will bring little relief as dry lightning can occur during the storms and cause rain to evaporate before it even hits the ground.

Jason Heffernan, chief officer at Victoria’s Country Fire Authority warned that the high temperatures and strong winds are something to be very concerned about.

“The frontal system making its way through the state has slowed. So, we will see these winds and these temperatures stay around for a bit longer than expected.”

It’s believed the bushfire started last Thursday in the rural town of Bayindeen, located about 200 kilometres west of the city of Melbourne. It’s still not under control, according to the state’s emergency department.

Image credit: Vox

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