Fire bears down on Grampians township
Firefighters are battling an out-of-control bushfire nearing a small community in Victoria's south west.
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) has downgraded the bushfire threatening the community of Mirranatwa in Victoria's west to Watch and Act but warns the rating could change with the conditions.
The large, fast-moving fire, about 30km north of Dunkeld, is travelling in a southwesterly direction.
It's expected to impact Mirranatwa any time in the next two to six hours.
The CFA says with fire behaviour being very unpredictable, communities may see the advice on this fire move between 'Emergency Warning' and 'Watch and Act' during the night.
It says residents in Mirranatwa need to keep aware of the fire situation through local radio and the CFA website.
The blaze, which was started by lightning on Thursday evening, is one of more than 380 new bush and grassfires that ignited between 3pm (AEDT) on Thursday and 11.30am on Sunday, many sparked by lightning, according to the state’s head of fire services.
"It has been a very active fire period in many areas of the state and the emergency services have been kept very busy," Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said.
This activity has been driven by four days of hot, dry weather and tomorrow (Monday) is expected to be the worst day of the past week."
He said it was important for Victorians to remain vigilant as the hot weather was expected to continue.
Mr Lapsley said up to 1075 firefighters, 240 vehicles and 64 aircraft have been active each shift over the past four days.
On Sunday afternoon, 108 fire fighters, 12 tankers and three helicopters were working to protect property in Mirranatwa.
"Right across the state thousands of people have been working incredibly hard, day and night, protecting their community," Mr Lapsley said.
AAP, with Chris Hingston