Homes lost in Melbourne fires

The new blazes come just weeks after a heatwave triggered fires around south-eastern Australia....
The new blazes come just weeks after a heatwave triggered fires around south-eastern Australia. Photo Reuters
Up to 10 homes have been lost in fires in outer metropolitan Melbourne.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley says up to 10 homes have been lost in Warrandyte, Mickleham/Craigieburn and Gisborne but there have been no significant injuries or deaths.

Mr Lapsley said preliminary estimates were that fewer than 10 properties had been lost in the three outer metropolitan fires.

"The preliminary would say less than 10 and we'll see what comes as the fires are actually brought to a containment and we can get in and have a proper look at what those impacts are," he told ABC TV.

He said the Sunday afternoon fires were very intense and fast-moving, fanned by strong winds.

Kangaroo Ground incident controller Chris Hardman said the Mickleham fire was a very hard, fast-moving grassfire.

"The wind change complicated firefighting efforts and the impact has resulted in the loss of several homes and assets," Mr Hardman said.

He said there had been early reports as many as three houses had been razed, and another damaged, in the Warrandyte area.

Crews have contained the 10-hectare fire that started in the middle of a residential area in Warrandyte at lunchtime on Sunday but several houses have been destroyed, he said.

"Even though this fire was contained at 10 hectares there have been some terrible losses and heartache for the local community to deal with," Mr Hardman said.

He said crews would continue to monitor and patrol the fire.

More than 350 firefighters and 60 trucks battled the two fires in Mickleham and Warrandyte, while 126 trucks fought the 3000-hectare fire in Gisborne.

Premier Denis Napthine said there was help available for people impacted by blazes.

"The Victorian government has an assistant package in place that will be rolled out immediately for those people who have lost their homes," Dr Napthine said.

"There are family assistance packages.

"We'll also provide assistance for those who have been relocated because of the fire threat."

One home has been lost in the fire at Gisborne and Riddells Creek, north of Melbourne.

The fire was contained on Sunday night, but incident controller John Deering said the community should remain vigilant.

"Gusty winds, high temperatures and bone-dry vegetation made fighting this fire difficult," Mr Deering said.

"We have one confirmed report of a house lost and will make further assessments of any other property or stock losses as it becomes safe to do so."

About 220 firefighters, more than 40 firefighting vehicles plus three water bombing aircraft worked on the Gisborne fire.

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