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Lorne, Wye River fire: ‘Come back’, officials urge

MML

Click play for the latest from emergency management commissioner Craig Lapsley on 3AW Breakfast.

Officials are encouraging holiday-makers to flock back to Lorne in the wake of the destructive Christmas fires.

116 homes were destroyed in the Lorne fire, mostly at Wye River and more than a dozen at Separation Creek.

But as firefighters continue to manage the blaze, emergency management commissioner Craig Lapsley has urged people to return to the unseasonably quiet Lorne.

‘It’s fine to go to Lorne. This fire won’t threaten Lorne this week,’ he told 3AW Breakfast.

About 2000 people evacuated the popular resort town as the fires headed in its direction.

The fires have also affected tourism at nearby towns.

Jo Birley from the Apollo Bay Chamber of Commerce told 3AW news the population at Apollo Bay jumps from 1200 to more than 10,000 over the holidays.

But she said many are delaying their arrival or cancelling plans.

‘The message we’re trying to get out there is that it is safe here,’ she said.

Latest warnings here.

Incredible images of the fire captured by CFA volunteer and photographer Keith Pakenham.

Incredible images of the fire captured by CFA volunteer and photographer Keith Pakenham.

Relief Centres have been established at Apollo Bay and Torquay.

Shocked residents and holiday-makers captured spectacular and terrifying footage as 18 aircraft dropped water on the fire zone.

The future of the Falls Festival is still unclear, although in a statement on the event website organisers said the festival was safe from the path of fire.

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