23 Feb 2009

Victoria on bushfire alert again

11:18 am on 23 February 2009

Dozens of communities in Victoria are on bushfire alert again.

A total fire ban is in place except in the southwest of the state.

Residents north-east of Melbourne in the Warburton region, the Yarra Valley and at Enoch Point, near Eildon, have been warned to decide as early as possible to leave or stay and fight any bushfire that may come.

The Department of Sustainability & Environment expects temperatures in the mid-30s on Monday with northerly winds up to 30km per hour.

But it says conditions will not be as bad as 7 February when fires claimed at least 209 lives.

Four major fires remain out of control.

New Zealand firefighters in Victoria are now having two days respite.

They have completed their first seven-day shift and will return to work on Wednesday morning.