Firefighters continue battle as extreme fire conditions loom

LIGHTNING storms have continued to spark spot fires in Victoria's Gippsland region, providing an even bigger challenge for the 600 firefighters battling a 62,000ha blaze.

One man has died while trying to escape the flames in his car and 21 houses have been destroyed since a fire broke out in the Baw Baw National Park last Thursday.

More than 10 small fires were contained after a lightning storm moved through the region on Tuesday.

Firefighters will continue to strengthen containment lines and prepare to protect properties in the Lake Glenmaggie area on Wednesday ahead of extreme fire conditions on Thursday and Friday.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu told reporters on Tuesday the fire service was facing "significant issues in terms of ensuring all of those that are working on the fire ground are rotated so they get a rest".

In NSW, lightning was also to blame for a blaze in the Ku-ring-gai National Park near West Head.

Back-burning operations were expected to be carried out on Tuesday but welcome rain contained the fire.

The 54,000ha blaze which has wiped out 53 properties near Coonabarabran continues to burn in the Warrumbungle National Park.

Light rainfall has helped firefighters contain the fire and no properties are currently under threat.

A total of 63 people - including 38 juveniles - has been arrested and charged with bushfire offences.


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