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Vic: Vic remains on high alert as firefighters gain control

23 Jan 2009 2:57 PM

MELBOURNE, Jan 23 AAP - Victoria remains on extreme fire alert as firefighters battle blazes in different parts of the state.

Firefighters on Friday contained a fire at the Drummond North-Zig Zag Road fire near Malmsbury in central Victoria and were mopping up ahead of a weekend of more hot, windy weather.

In the state's far east, a fire at Bull Flat, 9km north-west of Buchan, was under control.

But morning mist and fog prevented crews being flown in to work on the fires at Yambulla near the NSW border which are yet to be contained.

Work will continue as soon as weather conditions improve.

At the Malmsbury blaze, 60 firefighters from the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and another 45 from the Country Fire Authority (CFA) joined together to fight the fire.

Six water bombing aircraft were called on during the afternoon, and at one point, several of them were used to help crews on the ground protect homes at Drummond North.

Incident Controller James Dalton said the aim was to mop up as quickly as possible while conditions were a little better through Friday and Saturday.

"We have the fire contained within a bulldozer line around the entire edge, but the hot, windy weather will be back again through Sunday and Monday, and we don't want hundreds of trees and stumps still burning near the firebreak then," he said.

"There are still three or four days of hard work left in this fire before we can say it has been stopped."

He said all Victorians should be aware that a total fire ban was in force over the holiday weekend.

In Buchan, firefighters are on high alert for any new blazes after the lightning storms that passed through the region on Thursday.