Thick Smog Envelops Mallacoota With Evacuations Set to Begin

Smoky conditions in Mallacoota, Victoria, hindered plans to rescue some stranded tourists and residents by plane, local media reported on January 2.

HMAS Choules, a naval ship docked off Mallacoota, was set to evacuate some of the 4,000 people trapped by the deadly East Gippsland bushfires. The military vessel was reported to be around a mile from Bastion Point in Mallacoota due to the low tide.

Linda Reynolds, the Australian defense minister, said evacuation plans for Mallacoota were underway with emergency services preparing to transfer people to HMAS Choules on the morning of January 3.

Daniel Andrews, the Victoria premier, declared a “state of disaster” on January 2. Andrews said at a press conference late on Thursday night: “If you can leave, you must leave.”

In this video, thick smoke can be seen lingering over homes in Mallacoota. George Mills, who is on holiday in Mallacoota, said: “Insane smoke today, very uncomfortable. Although I’d love to finish the holiday I’m looking forward to getting out to fresh air.” Credit: George Mills via Storyful