The majority of Victoria will wake up again on Wednesday to a thick layer of smoke, which is forecast to disperse as rain sweeps through the state.

Hazardous air quality alerts will be in place until at least Wednesday evening for the smoke blanketing central and eastern Victoria on Tuesday.

Victoria recorded the worst air quality in the world on Tuesday, as smoke from East Gippsland
fires spread across the state and authorities alerted vulnerable groups to stay indoors.

“When you reach the hazardous air quality range anyone can develop symptoms,” Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said on Tuesday.
“There can be eye, nose and throat irritation, people can have a cough develop or worse, or even
wheeze.”

Rain and cooler weather expected to hit the state on Wednesday afternoon will help disperse the bushfire smoke, improving the air quality forecast for Thursday to a moderate rating.

The Bureau of Meteorology said cooler conditions will remain for Victoria until the weekend, with maximum temperatures in the low 20s.

Rain and thunderstorms accompanying the cool change will hardly help firefighters battling blazes in the state’s east and northeast.

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Less than 5mm of rain and thunderstorms are forecast for fire-affected areas, bringing dry lightning that could spark new fires.

Central Victoria could see between 5mm and 15mm of rainfall.

The recent bushfires have burned 1.4 million hectares across the state. Four people have died, with 353 homes and 548 other structures destroyed.

Seventeen fires were burning in Victoria on Tuesday evening.

One emergency warning remained in place on Tuesday night, in Tamboon where emergency services reported the fire was creating its own weather pattern there while becoming erratic.

AAP

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