Bushfires continue to threaten Victorian communities as Bunyip blaze downgraded

Bushfire smoke fills the sky

Bushfire smoke fills the sky

Lightning strikes sparked at least 100 fires across the state of Victoria over the last 24 hours and emergency warnings were issued when two of the fires joined together to form one large blaze at Bunyip State Park, about 100 kilometres south east of Melbourne. Residents were told to seek shelter because it was too late to leave.

Tonimbuk resident Karen also lost her home and backed Mr Clarke's claim of little being done about fire management in the state park.

The warning for Bunyip North, Cornucopia, Garfield, Garfield North, Gembrook, Maryknoll, Nar Nar Goon North, Tonimbuk, Tynong and Tynong North relates to multiple bushfires that are unpredictable and spreading in many directions.

"At the moment it is still burning out of control and that has really still got very minimal containment lines around it", he said.

There are around 19 other fires still burning across Victoria.

"This is an active fire, it is moving, and there is every likelihood there will be further property losses".

Authorities said the Bunyip State Forest fire remained the priority because it was threatening the most number of homes.

A cool change was forecast for late on Sunday but an associated wind change would bring danger for firefighters.

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"We've got a bit of respite now, but the next few days are still going to present some challenges to us", he said.

Maximum temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s were expected in the main fire areas, with higher humidity helping fire crews.

Despite the resources, the fire is so large, terrain so hard and wind so gusty that crews are focusing their efforts on stamping out spot fires to reduce the spread and protect assets.

But more than 2000 firefighters are working to contain blazes around the state, he said.

He said the change could bring some rain, and even snow to higher altitude areas, but were unlikely to bring the significant downpour required to douse the fires.

"The ferocity of that fire wouldn't have been as much if they had been doing what they are meant to do", Mr Clarke said.

"Don't put yourself in harm's way and potentially add to the already considerable workload our firefighters have", he said.

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