Mallacoota in Victoria’s East Gippsland area has been shrouded in darkness this morning (Tuesday, Dec 31), as locals and holidaymakers alike brace for approaching bushfires to hit.

As per the ABC, reports of up to 4000 people in the beachside area have had to evacuate to the shoreline, on beaches and the local wharves, with directions to get into the water when the CFA fire engines’ sirens are sounded.

At the time of writing (9.30am) the sirens have reportedly begun, indicating that people should now enter the water to protect themselves from the fires.

At around 8am this morning, the Bureau of Meteorology clocked a high of 49ºC in the Mallacoota township, with temperatures easing back to the mid-20s, but wind gust speed staying high at 60km/h.

Earlier this morning, the region – which sits just below the NSW border – was as dark as night, as thick smoke blocked out the sun.

The fire approaching Mallacoota is just one of the many that are currently burning out of control across the country, with the large Currowan fire and Clyde Mountain fires threatening NSW south coast towns Batemans Bay, Mogo, Broulee, and towns further north, and the fires burning in the Burrowa-Pine Mountain national park to the east of Albury.

For more information on these fires, keep updated with VicEmergency and the NSW RFS websites, and lock in your bushfire plans if fires are nearby.

Image: Supplied / Bradley Deacon