Hot week ahead prompts CFA fire warning

Hot week ahead prompts CFA fire warning

Residents in three communities in Victoria's south-west have been warned to prepare to defend their properties or evacuate as a large bushfire approaches.

The bushfire at Kentbruk, near Portland, is expected to approach the localities of Drik Drik, Greenwald and and Winnap this evening.

The Country Fire Authority declared a ''watch and act'' warning for the area about 3.25pm.

"We don't issue these warnings lightly. If you're not prepared to fight the fire, or if you plan to leave, you should do it now," a CFA spokeswoman said.

The Portland Nelson Road is closed between Skyline Road and Winnap Nelson Road and smoke is affecting driver visibility along the Winnap Nelson Road and the Princes Highway between Greenwald and the South Australian border. Motorists in the area have been told to turn on their headlights and drive slowly.

The Kentbruk fire has destroyed more than 2800 hectares since it sparked on Friday afternoon. More than 200 firefighters are battling the fire, with seven water-bombing aircraft, six helicopters and 16 tankers in action.


With much of the fire occurring in swampy areas, a CFA spokesman said normal fire trucks had been less effective than usual. He said they were having more luck battling the fire from above and with 35 mobile utes with water-spraying tanks attached.

Thick smoke is surrounding the region, with smoke from the fire sighted about 100km away in Hamilton.

With lightning expected in parts of the state on Sunday and high temperatures forecast for this week, the public has been warned to be wary of fire risks.

"We're asking campers to be very careful with campfires," a CFA spokesman said.

"Tuesday is the next day we're most concerned about. There will be some severe fire dangers in the state's north and north-east."

On Sunday, areas in Victoria's north are tipped to be above 40, while southern and central districts will be mostly in the high 20s.

We don't issue these warnings lightly. If you're not prepared to fight the fire, or if you plan to leave, you should do it now

Meanwhile, Victorian and New South Wales firefighters are also battling an out-of-control bushfire on the north-east border at Ournie.


The fire has already burned through 300 hectares, with smoke affecting communities on both sides of the border. No homes are under threat, but residents have been asked to monitor conditions and check their bushfire survival plans.

Authorities responded to 95 bushfires across the state on Saturday, 49 of which had been declared safe by midday on Sunday.

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