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Warning of more bad fire weather on Friday

Thursday January 10, 2013 - 14:21 EDT

Fire crews and emergency officials around Victoria are preparing for another day of as blazes continue to burn in the state's south-west.

The weather bureau is forecasting hot weather with a freshening northerly wind ahead of a gusty south-westerly change.

Temperatures are expected to hit 40 degrees Celsius in the north and 37C in Melbourne.

A total fire ban will be in place tomorrow for the whole state with the fire risk high or very high everywhere except the Mallee and Northern Country.

Fire crews are still battling to control a fire that has burnt nearly 7,000 hectare bushfire at Kentbruck, near Portland in south-western Victoria.

At a community meeting at Dartmoor residents raised concerns about communications.

Many residents have slow or no internet and no radio reception.

They are also worried about the large number of unburnt pine plantations on private land surrounding the town.

A fire at, in western Victoria, destroyed nine homes and 13 buildings and destroyed 12 vehicles on Tuesday.

More than 1,300 hectares were burnt and up to 1,000 head of livestock were killed.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan is urging Victorians to remain alert.

He says the damage from the Chepstowe fire serves as a reminder of how quickly fires can move in hot and windy conditions.

"I simply say, everybody must take care, take appropriate care of the way in which they conduct themselves in their respective environments," he said.

"Do not put yourself in the position where anything you are doing is likely to create a spark which in turn will start a fire."

It is believed the Chepstowe fire was sparked by a farm vehicle.

Fire crews are continuing backburning operations around the fire but so far it is not posing any threat to property.

Emergency assistance

The State Government will consider emergency grants for people who lost their homes the Chepstowe fire.

Deputy Premier Peter Ryan says the Government will await insurance assessments before announcing further assistance, but immediate help will be available.

"Certainly in the first instance, we will be looking to make emergency grants to people who are actually in need of them, should it be that we can establish that there are folk there who are desperate to have personalised support," he said.


© ABC 2013

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