15 Feb 2009

Milder weather forecast issued for Victoria

8:18 am on 15 February 2009

Milder weather is forecast for Victoria this week.

Twelve bushfires were still out of control in the state on Saturday - a week after the deaths of at least 181 people. Some 4500 firefighters are still at work.

Describing the forecast as "very encouraging", Country Fire Authority deputy chief officer Geoff Conway said the expected conditions will allow consolidation of control lines and backburning to continue over the next few days.

The work is expected to cause increased amounts of smoke.

Residents near the fires in Murrindindi, Wilsons Promontory, those near the Bunyip State Park and the Maroondah/Yarra Complex fire have all been advised that extra smoke is expected in these areas.

The fires are currently not posing a direct threat to any communities.

Police said on Saturday the number of houses destroyed had increased to 1,834. Some 413,000 hectares have been burned.