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CFA battles fire near Healesville

Two aircraft and 25 trucks join the fight to save homes from a fast-moving bushfire near the town of Healesville.

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The bushfire emergency threatening the town of Healesville, north east of Melbourne, has eased with rain falling in the area.

The fire situation, which was sparked by a lightning strike, was downgraded from an emergency warning to a watch and act around 3pm.

The CFA said the fire, which came periously close to homes, was under control at 3.45pm.

"With the changed weather conditions, there is now no threat to communities, but you should continue to stay informed and monitor conditions," the CFA said.

A south westerly wind change was expected in the area between 3pm and 7pm.

Speaking to ABC radio, CFA operations manager Mark Kennedy confirmed a lightning strike sparked the fire in inaccessible terrain near Healesville.

Heavy rain beginning to fall in the area is hoped to help dampen the blaze.

 

Earlier, the fire was about five hectares in size, with spotfires and ember attacks starting about 200 metres ahead of the main fire.

It was heading south from Chum Creek towards Cornelius Crescent, Beverley Drive, Dorothy Street, Ryans Road, Christie Parade, Pollard Drive and Merton Grove in Healesville. 

Chum Creek resident Tennille Porter said the fire was within a kilometre of her property, and that she was starting up her water pumps incase the blaze headed her way.

“Right now it’s going in the other direction, but we’re just hoping the wind doesn’t change,” she said. 

Ms Porter said the fire was producing thick smoke and that she could hear a number of helicopters overhead.  

A CFA spokeswoman said that eight trucks and air support had been deployed to combat the blaze.

The fire is expected to change direction when a southwesterly wind change arrives.

Firefighters were also battling an out-of-control bushfire near Leneva West, south of Wodonga on Friday afternoon.

An emergency warning was downgraded to a watch an act for the fire that was moving in a south easterly direction from Brewers Road towards Wodonga Beechworth Road.  The CFA said the fire had been contained at 3.40pm.