The CFA has managed to save homes in the path of a bushfire that jumped the South Australian border into Victoria, but thousands of hectares and livestock have been lost.
Authorities are confident they can have a blaze that jumped the South Australian border into Victoria under control within 24 hours.
So far an estimated 7266 hectares had been burnt by Saturday evening and while there have been no reports of homes lost so far, several structures including hay sheds have been destroyed from the blaze.
Thousands of sheep also perished from the fire, according to the CFA, who are hoping to get the incident under control within the next 24 hours.
“The crews are working really well, we aren’t expecting the fire to grow much further,” Incident Controller Mark Gunning said.
“We will continue to keep doing the work we are doing….there were certainly homes threatened but [our] good work definitely saved homes.”
The CFA said the blaze was a stark reminder that many communities should prepare for the bushfire season.
“Where people are living in the dry parts of Victoria, bushfires are a reality,” Mr Gunning said.
“This is why people need a fire plan…had the area been more densely populated, we might have seen more significant damage.”
The fire risk will increase in many dry parts of the state over the coming month due to increased fuel loads, Mr Gunning added.
On Saturday afternoon Victorian residents in the far west, near the South Australian border, were told to leave their homes if they were not prepared to stay and fight the blaze.
Authorities warned the bushfire could become dangerous and unpredictable amid hot temperatures.
A Watch and Act warning has been issued for Langkoop, Poolaijelo and Powers Creek as the grassfire at Poolaijelo burns out of control.
“Don’t wait — if you are not prepared to stay, leaving now is the safest option,” Victorian emergency authorities warned on Saturday morning.
“Conditions may change and get worse very quickly. Emergency services may not be able to help you if you decide to stay.”
South Australian fire crews are assisting the Country Fire Authority to help contain the blaze.Authorities have urged residents travelling from South Australia into Victoria to check online for current warnings and road closures before departing.
The grassfire is travelling north east and is now burning in the Meereek State Forest.
Fire crews have been building containment lines around the forest’s northern and eastern sides to help curb the fire’s spread.
Temperatures in the low 30s on Saturday in Victoria may cause the fire to become dangerous and unpredictable, with properties potentially impacted, authorities warned.
Firefighters have been working throughout the night and will continue to work with aircraft and heavy equipment on Saturday.
The grassfire at Wrattonbully crossed the South Australian border into Victoria on Friday afternoon.
The fire has been controlled in South Australia but is still actively burning in Victoria.