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Victorian fires: Homes, school holidaymakers come under threat from east coast bushfires

Kellie Lazzaro, Monday September 25, 2017 - 13:45 EST
ABC licensed image
Volunteer firefighters shared photos of the uncontrolled bushfire near Marlo on Sunday night. - ABC licensed

Bushfires in Victoria's east are threatening properties, and campers heading to Cape Conran, Cabbage Tree Creek and Marlo, east of Lakes Entrance, are being urged to relocate away from the fire area.

Winds are expected to strengthen on Wednesday with increased fire danger forecast for Thursday and Friday, the first week of the Victorian school holidays.

The CFA said the next two days were critical.

"We'll be using a lot of aircraft in the area, machinery and ground crews to try to track the fire," CFA regional controller Trevor Owen said.

The fire near Marlo spread to more than 500 hectares in size, fanned by yesterday's strong north-westerly winds.

It was sparked by a burn-off on private property which spread into nearby forest.

"One property was saved yesterday which was to the great effort of firefighters. They protected the house and the fire moved around it without any damage," Mr Owen said.

"But there are between four and six other properties that may be impacted over the course of today.

"We're working with those property owners to make sure they're best prepared."

Bushfire near Buchan could burn for weeks

A fire in the Timbarra area near Buchan has burnt 7,000 hectares in steep, inaccessible country.

It is burning four kilometres north-west of the town and has an active fire edge that is 50 kilometres long.

"It's moving slowly towards the Buchan township so residents and tourists need to be aware that we will be upgrading and downgrading the fire messages to the community according to the risk," Mr Owen said.

Buchan resident Rhonda Coates said the two bushfires closing-in on the town were creating much anxiety.

"There was a huge glow but there was no information coming through at all," Ms Coates said.

"It spotted ahead and came down over the back of the hills in incredibly blustery winds, it fired up and just took off."

Mr Owen said the Buchan fire may take two weeks to control unless there is significant rain.

"So residents should monitor the Bureau of Meteorology website and monitor the Vic Emergency website to get the most up to date bushfire information," he said.

"Again, if the winds and temperatures increase we will be back into it, so we need to remain vigilant."

Authorities said more than 40 campers had been relocated from the Buchan Caves reserve due to the fires.

A talkback caller to ABC Gippsland, Doug, said the fire got to within 200 metres of his house, also at Buchan yesterday.

"The Timbarra fire is north of me but the wind is blowing it straight down here and I was up most of the night checking for embers," he said.

A number of roads remain closed due to the fires in East Gippsland.

Smaller fires are also burning near Dargo, Club Terrace, Wangarabell and Buchan South.


© ABC 2017

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