|Posted by George Freund on January 5, 2020 at 2:35 PM|
Catastrophic bushfires this weekend pushed death toll to 24 and destroyed more than 1,500 homes
Fire activity increased last weekend across the New South Wales south coast and in the East Gippsland region
A father and son died on Kangaroo Island and another person died in Canberra on Saturday alone
Authorities predict the fire season will last until at least March and say they're in it for 'the long haul'
Drizzle came on Sunday but the small amount of rain actually meant firefighters couldn't backburn
Two NSW fires are travelling toward the border of Victoria, where they threaten to join another blaze
By BRITTANY CHAIN FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS
PUBLISHED: 10:25 EST, 5 January 2020 | UPDATED: 11:43 EST, 5 January 2020
Three fires spanning two states are threatening to merge into a terrifying 'mega-blaze' as locals are told to urgently flee - but many are defying the orders and staying to defend their homes.
In the early hours of Monday morning nothing but a river - about 10kms of space - stood between Victoria's Corryong blaze and the two fires burning out of control at NSW's Kosciuszko National Park.
Tallangatta incident controller Leith McKenzie said on Sunday more than half the people living in nearby alpine areas had ignored warnings fire crews won't be able to reach them if disaster strikes on Monday.
'For anybody in that area, it is getting up to the stage where it could be really serious for them. We will not put our people at risk to go into these areas to protect assets,' Mr McKenzie said.
'They should be enacting their evacuation plans. They should have already done it.'