New Year’s Eve fireworks celebration cancelled due to fears of fire

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Fireworks explode over the Sydney Harbour Bridge as France's national flag (top) and Australia's flag are flown on top of the bridge in response to the Paris attacks, in Sydney, November 15, 2015. Reuters/Jason Reed

The hot winds sweeping over Victoria and fears of further rise in temperatures have led the fire authorities to cancel the New Year’s eve fireworks in the Great Ocean Road region. Fireworks could stand cancelled in other regions across Victoria as well. According to the Bureau of Meteorology forecast, the temperatures would rise to 37 degrees on the New Year’s eve and would hover around 36 degrees on New Year’s day.

Holiday towns of the Wye River and Separation Creek located along the Great Ocean Road have been ravaged by the Christmas bushfires. The blazes have destroyed 116 homes as the authorities are bracing for further danger. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited the fire affected areas on Tuesday along with his wife Lucy Turnbull and spoke to the volunteers who are working tirelessly to tackle the situation.

The permits for public fireworks celebrations on the New Year’s eve across the Surf Coast and Colac-Otway Shires are in the process of being revoked by the Country Fire Authority, the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Chief Officer Peter Rau told ABC 774.

The decision on whether to declare the New Year's eve a fire ban day would come on Wednesday, according to the Country Fire Authority State Duty Officer, Ross Sullivan.

"We could have a total fire ban on New Year's Eve, so we'll be managing everything really strongly," the Age quoted Metropolitan Fire Brigade Deputy Chief Officer David Bruce as saying on Monday. "We will be looking at each application on its merit and be working with all the agencies and Worksafe to make sure that all the proper permits are in place. We have had some issues and the fire services have resources on hand to manage those. It's the illegal ones that can pop up anywhere and as mentioned by Ambulance Victoria, they can cause injury or potentially death."

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the CFA have issued a ban on do-it-yourself fireworks, and those who would disregard the ban are likely to face a jail term of 15 years with fines.