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post #41 of 41 (permalink) Old 02-23-2009, 02:06 AM Thread Starter
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Two weeks after it started, the fires still burn and again threaten homes...

Monday, February 23, 2009 » 05:55pm

Homes in Victoria are again under direct threat from fire, with two new blazes breaking out.

In the afternoon, a house in Melbourne's outer eastern suburbs was hit by an out of control bushfire which is still being fought by 100 firefighters.

The Country Fire Authority (CFA) says the house in Belgrave South has been burned while other suburbs in the Dandenong Ranges are under threat from the 15-hectare fire.

Crews are being deployed to Belgrave, on Melbourne's eastern fringe, and the area near Daylesford, north west of the city.

Hundreds of residents have already fled their homes.

One fire broke out early on Monday afternoon in the Birds Land Reserve and a northerly wind is pushing it south towards several suburbs including Upwey, Tecoma, Belgrave Heights, Belgrave South and Lysterfield.

Residents have been urged by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) to decide early whether to defend their homes, with many nervous residents who can see smoke in nearby areas such as Ferntree Gully deciding to evacuate.

The fire was not currently threatening homes but strong winds and hot weather was creating problems for firefighters, CFA deputy chief officer Geoff Conway said.

'We have tankers and water aircraft responding,' he told AAP.

'It's a difficult set of circumstances with the winds quite strong this afternoon putting pressure on control lines that have been constructed at fires around the state.'

Spot fires have been flaring up within various bushfires that have been contained around the state, including the giant Murrindindi Complex.

'They are all currently within the containment lines but spot-fires in the northeastern parts of the fire could threaten Lake Eildon and Rubicon,' Mr Conway said.

The wind is expected to change to a southwesterly wind by 5pm-6pm (AEDT) on Monday threatening other towns, including communities around Warburton, Yarra Junction, Gladysdale, Powelltown, Woori Yallock and McMahons Creek.

Temperatures are in the mid-30s on Monday with a total fire ban declared in all but Victoria's southwestern region.



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