10.45am Tuesday: CFA Operations Manager Adrian Gutsche says he expects houses to be lost as fires continue to rage throughout the Upper Murray.
Speaking at a joint press conference with NSW RFS Superintendent Patrick Westwood in Albury on Tuesday morning, following the death of Samuel McPaul, Mr Gutsche said up to 500 firefighters from the CFA and DELWP were tackling the blazes.
He said the Corryong, Cudgewa and Shelley areas were particularly vulnerable.
Mr Gutsche said hundreds of people had chose to leave the Nariel Creek Folk Festival with about 40 opting to stay.
UPDATE, Tuesday morning: Upper Murray residents have been urged to take shelter indoors immediately as it is too late to leave.
The bushfire west south west of Walwa is not yet under control and is moving south-easterly on a large fire.
An emergency warning by Vic Emergency has been issued for Beetoomba, Berringama, Biggara, Burrowye, Colac Colac, Corryong, Crawford Crossing, Cudgewa, Cudgewa North, Guys Forest, McNamara Crossing, Mount Alfred, Nariel Creek, Nariel Gap, Nariel Valley, Pine Mountain, Thowgla, Thowgla Upper, Thowgla Valley, Tintaldra, Towong, Towong Upper, Walwa, Willow Crossing.
"This fire is threatening homes and lives," the emergency warning said.
"You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive."
Embers are being carried by the wind large distances ahead of the main fire and starting spot fires.
EARLIER: Authorities strongly urge people to leave the Upper Murray as a fast moving fire continues to burn.
The safest locations away from the fire are Tallangatta and Wodonga.
Roadblocks are in place.
If you are in Walwa you need to evacuate to Tallangatta via the Murray River Rd through Tintaldra and Corryong.
If you are in Burrowye or Guys Creek evacuate to Tallangatta via Murray River Rd.
If you are in Cudgewa evacuate via the Murray Valley Highway.
A Relief Centre is open inTallangatta at the Memorial Hall, Towong St.
UPDATE: An emergency warning has been issued for the Upper Murray with the Talmalmo bushfire still out of control.
The message by Vic Emergency was issued for Burrowye, Cudgewa, Cudgewa North, Guys Forest, Mount Alfred, Pine Mountain, Tintaldra, Walwa, Pine Mountain National Park and Cudgewa North.
Campers started to leave the area on Monday afternoon.
Residents were keeping a close watch on the blaze, which had burnt through 45 hectares of land at Talmalmo by about 2pm.
Walwa General Store employee Sarah Hamilton said those in the area were waiting to see how the fire acted.
"Anyone who is on the river is evacuating," she said.
"The warning is that it could impact Walwa within an hour, but I'm guessing that's dependant on the wind and weather.
"We're just waiting on calls and information."
Ms Hamilton said she wasn't planning to leave.
A man at the Walwa hotel said everyone in the area was "very alert".
"We'll just wait and see what we're going to do," he said.
CFA warnings state that leaving is the safest option.
"There is a bushfire at 13 kilometres west-north-west of Walwa that is not yet under control," the warning said.
"The bushfire is travelling from NSW River Road in a south-easterly direction towards Walwa.
"This bushfire could impact Walwa and surrounding towns any time in the next hour.
"Murray River will be closed between Walwa and Burrowye.
"Don't wait, leaving now is the safest option - conditions may change and get worse very quickly. Emergency services may not be able to help you if you decide to stay."
EARLIER: Fires have already started in the Southern Border region with conditions only expected to get worse through the week.
The NSW Rural Fire Service Southern Border Team responded to several lightning strikes in the Upper Murray overnight with a fire burning more than 45 hectares near Talmalmo.
At around 5pm yesterday there was a band of lightning that started fires just North West of Mt Jingellic in Green Valley.
"We deployed as many crews as we could to the fire including a strike team that was enroute to the Tarcutta area to assist the fires in the Ellerslie Range," Superintendent Pat Westwood said.
"Unfortunately despite best efforts we were unable to contain the fire by the night, and as a result we have a new fire in the landscape ahead of terrible heat and strong north westerly winds today.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"We worked very closely with DEWLP crews from Corryong and the Upper Murray to gain intelligence via an aircraft that was in the area, and also deployed some aviation assets which were able to get some work done before last light.
"Crews have been on the fire all night and are working closely with bulldozers and forestry crews to do as much as possible to contain the fire, but we simply cannot get around the entirety of the fire before the weather comes in."
Superintendent Westwood said strong winds and difficult terrain make the fire hard to access.
"Unfortunately it is not looking good for the progression of this fire, we quite simply cannot gain access right around it due to terrain and the winds are expected to be up to 30-50kp/h today.
"We will work all resources available for as long as it is safe, however the threat of the fire spreading and spotting of several kilometers is likely to occur."
With fire weather worsening, state forests in the Tumut, Tumbarumba and Bombala areas were closed from midnight December 29 until further notice.
Anyone camping in the forests is asked to leave and anyone planning to visit the forests to delay their trip.
The severe fire danger rating for the area and increasingly hot weather forecasts mean it is not safe to have the public visiting forests.
Forestry Corporation's Snowy regional manager Dean Anderson said they are asking anyone using state forests in this area to leave.
"The forest environment can be unpredictable and even if there does not seem to be fire close by at present, the weather over the coming days means that situation could change quickly," he said.
"Now is the time to move on and make other arrangements."
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