More than 100 homes are confirmed to have been destroyed in a bushfire that ravaged part of the scenic Great Ocean Road in Victoria’s south-east on Christmas Day.
The Country Fire Authority delivered the devastating news on Saturday afternoon after completing an extensive search of the fire ground.
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The 2200-hectare blaze was first sparked by lightning on December 19 but after five days of fire fighting efforts flared up and jumped containment lines on Christmas Day.
By nightfall, flames were beginning to impact on the popular tourist town of Wye River where 98 homes were today confirmed destroyed.
A further 18 have been lost in nearby Separation Creek.
Despite up to 30 millimetres of rain falling across the fire ground today and the fact that the warning level has since been downgraded, the blaze is still burning and could do so for many weeks, according to the CFA.
The Insurance Council of Australia has declared the event a catastrophe with initial insurance losses reaching an estimated $25 million.
Fortunately, no deaths or injuries have been reported.