Smoke from Victoria’s deadly bushfires will find its was back to Melbourne by the weekend as they continue to burn through more than 1.5 million hectares.
After the smoky start to the week was broken for much of the state by thunderstorms, senior meteorologist Dean Stewart from the Bureau of Meteorology says the haze will return.
“Easterly winds over the fire grounds are likely to push that smoke back into central areas from tomorrow,” he said on Friday.
“There is a bit of uncertainty as to how bad that smoke haze will be but nevertheless at least some smoke haze in the area tomorrow and Sunday.”
While the rain caused flash flooding in Victoria’s west and metropolitan Melbourne, what showers did hit the alpine and East Gippsland regions on Thursday did little to help battle the fires.
So far the blazes have burnt through more than 1.5 million hectares, 387 residential homes and 602 non-residential buildings.
Five men have also died during the fires.
As of midday on Friday, all 17 fires across the state were at watch and act level or lower, with an evacuation order issued for a fire near Mount Buffalo.
Some new fires were sparked by lightning on Thursday.
There are 1500 firefighters and 45 aircraft working on the blazes.
Among them are 130 international personnel and three additional contingents from the US and Canada are arriving on Saturday, Tuesday and next Friday.