Firefighters waterbomb the blaze near Seaton last week. Fresh fires are burning after lightning strikes - and the temperature is about to rise sharply. Photo: Michael Clayton-Jones
Lightning strikes have sparked nine fires in Victoria's east, about 280 kilometres from where the Aberfeldy inferno continues to raze bushland.
The new fires ignited in a state forest, about 13 kilometres east of Orbost on Monday night. A spokeswoman for the State Control Centre said the nine fires were all small and would not hinder the firefighting effort in the Aberfeldy blaze, which has grown to more than 60,000 hectares.
"The fires are pretty subdued because there has been a bit of rain in the district," the spokeswoman said. "But the most important thing is ensuring they do not grow in size before the spike in hot weather forecast for later this week."
The temperature is predicted to hit 37 degrees on Thursday, heaping pressure on firefighters to contain the fires across the state's east.
Six hundred firefighters and 13 aircraft are battling the Aberfeldy blaze, which has spread to the north of the Baw Baw National Park.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said on Friday that he expected the fire to burn for at least two weeks as it enters inaccessible wilderness.
That fire has already killed one man, 84-year-old Stan Hayhurst who was found in a burnt out car near Seaton last Friday.
His family said he was a loved father, husband and grandfather, who retired to the country and built his own home in Seaton 20 years ago.
"Stan was a quiet man who loved the quiet and relaxed lifestyle of the bush and the country community. He also loved his vintage motorbikes and sitting out the back of his property feeding the birds. Stan was much loved and we are devastated by his death," his family said in a prepared statement.
The Gippsland fire also destroyed four holiday homes in the Baw Baw National Park and one permanent residence in Seaton last week.
The control centre spokeswoman said no properties were under direct threat at this stage but nearby residents should remain vigilant.