Firefighters battle raging Flowerdale grassfire in tricky terrain

An out-of-control fire continues to rage close to a town near Yea on Wednesday morning, as emergency services say they will have the 700-hectare blaze contained by Thursday afternoon.

Fire crews worked through steep terrain overnight to extinguish the flames, and more than 50 units have been deployed since the Country Fire Authority was called to Spring Valley Road at Flowerdale, about 95 kilometres north of Melbourne, at around 2.40pm on Tuesday.

Firefighters have battled a fire in Flowerdale overnight.Credit:Wonga Park CFA

“There are no confirmed loss of homes at this stage in part due to early asset protection by firefighters. There are impacts to fencing and sheds but the extent of the damage is not yet known,” a statement released on Wednesday morning from the fire authority said.

Emergency authorities have issued four warnings relating to the grassfire, including a leave-now warning, issued at around 3am for Dairy Creek Road to Handleys Road and Upper King Parrot Creek Road to Landmark Lane.

Residents in surrounding areas have been issued warnings to stay indoors and seek advice.

CFA incident controller David Bowe told the ABC on Wednesday around 350 firefighters, 90 trucks, 11 aircraft, including water-bombers, and six bulldozers have been called out to the fire.

Firefighters battle a fierce blaze that broke out at Flowerdale, north-east of Melbourne. Credit:Nine News

The fire, which grew from 500 hectares to more than 717 hectares overnight, is burning in steep and inaccessible country.

It has spread into forested areas to the north, making it difficult for firefighters to control the burn, the fire authority said.

Bowe said he was confident the fire would be contained by 5pm on Thursday, as weather conditions ease.

The blaze has continued to travel in a northerly direction and had crossed Carver Creek and was moving towards Yea Spur Road.

Aerial images of the grass fire burning near a property close to Flowerdale on Tuesday.Credit:Nine News

Police said they were assisting the fire service on Tuesday afternoon and Ambulance Victoria said no paramedics had been requested as of about 5pm.

Whittlesea-Yea Road between Dairy Creek Road and Break O’day Road is closed.

People living in or near the affected area have been told to take shelter before the fire arrives.

They have also been advised to bring all pets indoors, close vents, doors and windows, turn off cooling systems and to monitor conditions from a safe position.

“If your home catches on fire and the conditions inside become unbearable, you need to get out and go to an area that has already been burnt,” the CFA said.

“The smoke’s getting bigger, it’s a bit frightening really,” a Flowerdale resident, Sarah, told 3AW on Tuesday.

Flowerdale was razed during the Black Saturday fires in 2009. Those fires claimed 173 lives statewide – as well as an additional seven who later succumbed to injuries – and destroyed about 450,000 hectares and 3500 buildings.

A separate grass fire broke out in Little River, a town about 30 kilometres northeast of Geelong about 5pm, but was quickly brought under control.

Neville said 10 fire tankers and a few aircraft were deployed in the area to manage the blaze.

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