The Grampians bushfire: How it unfolded

ROLLING COVERAGE: The Grampians bushfires

FRIDAY

8PM

AN emergency warning is still in place for Dadswells Bridge and Ledcourt.

There is a fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire travelling in a north-easterly direction from the Grampians National Park towards the two towns.

The fire is now approximately three kilometres south of Dadswells Bridge and 1.5 kilometres from Ledcourt. 

A watch and act message is still in place for Glenorchy.

An emergency warning that was in place for Hopetoun West has been downgraded to a watch and act message.

7PM

POMONAL residents who have chosen to stay and defend their properties from fire are without water.

GWMWater’s Andrew Rose said there was a problem with the main pipeline from Halls Gap to Pomonal and crews could not get into the area to repair it.

“We are aware there are some residents who have chosen not to evacuate and we have referred the matter to the Incident Control Centre in Horsham and they will be in touch with those people,” he said.

“We don’t know what has caused it but the pipeline is about a kilometre long and where don’t know where the fault is, and it is far too dangerous to go in and fix it.”

Mr Rose said he did not know when crews might be able to get to the pipeline to repair it.

6.15PM

IT IS too late for residents to leave as the Country Fire Authority updates its emergency warning for Grampians Junction, Halls Gap. 

A fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire is travelling in a south-easterly direction from the north end of the Grampians National Park towards Halls Gap.

The fire now extends from Roses Gap down the western side of the Mt Zero Road and the front is two kilometres north of Halls Gap. 

CFA: You are in danger, act now to protect yourself.

It is too late to leave. The safest option is to take shelter indoors immediately.

Travel to: The closest Neighbourhood Safer Place is at the surrounds of the Halls Gap Visitor Information Centre, on the corner of Grampians Road and Heath Street, Halls Gap. 

A relief centre will operate from Stawell Leisure Centre. 

6.04PM

AN EMERGENCY warning for Hopetoun West, Hopevale and Kenmare is still in place.

There is a fast moving, out of control bushfire travelling in a southerly direction from Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve towards Kenmare. 

The message also applies to Eys Moyles Road, Phitzner Eys Road, Glenore Road, Glenore School Road, Yaapeet North Road, Webster Road, Hopetoun West Road, Navvy Dam Road, Hopetoun Yaapeet Road.

Hopetoun West, Kenmare and Hopvale could be impacted any time within the next hour.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries said people should leave now, before conditions become too dangerous.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Beulah Recreation Reserve is now operational; the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

5.30PM

A BUSHFIRE is now four kilometres south of Dadswells Bridge.

The Country Fire Authority has issued an emergency warning for Dadswells Bridge and Ledcourt.

The fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire is travelling in a north-easterly direction from the Grampians National Park towards the two areas.

It is 1.5km from Ledcourt.

The nearest relief centre that it is safe to travel to is at Horsham.

The Western Highway is closed but residents will be able to use the Western Highway to leave. 

Dadswells Bridge could be impacted any time within the next two hours.

The CFA says: Leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous. Emergency services might not be able to help if you decide to stay.

5.11PM

AN EMERGENCY warning message for Cherrypool, Glenisla Crossing, Heathvale, Laharum, Wartook and Brimpaen has been downgraded to watch and act.

The Country Fire Authority says fire activity in the Brimpaen area has subsided but conditions could change due to the unpredictable winds and weather situation being experienced in the northern part of the Grampians.

The fire is not yet under control and there are still pockets of active fire being experienced in the Roses Gap area.

The CFA urges residents to stay alert and listen to warnings as extreme fire behaviour is predicted in the Halls Gap area around 7pm. 

The fire is about 33,000 hecatres in size and currently affecting the north eastern side of the Grampians National Park. 

Staying close to shelter is the safest option, in case conditions change again suddenly.

Continue to stay informed and monitor conditions. 

5PM

THERE is an emergency warning for Hopetoun West, Hopevale and Kenmare.

There is a fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire travelling in a southerly direction from Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve towards Kenmare. 

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries message also applies to Eys Moyles Road, Phitzner Eys Road, Glenore Road, Glenore School Road, Yaapeet North Road, Webster Road, Hopetoun West Road, Navvy Dam Road and Hopetoun Yaapeet Road.

Hopetoun West, Kenmare and Hopvale could be impacted anytime within the next hour.

The department said people should leave now, before conditions become too dangerous.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Beulah Recreation Reserve is now operational; the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

4.50PM

A WATCH and act message has been issued for Glenorchy with the CFA advising people to leave now before it's too late.

Spot fires and ember attacks might be occurring as an expected wind change has produced unpredictable conditions.

The Grampians-Northern Grampians fire is moving north due to the expected southerly wind change making for unpredictable and erratic fire conditions.

Relief centres: Horsham: Senior Citizens Centre; Stawell: Leisure Centre; Hamilton: Indoor-Outdoor Leisure Centre; and Ararat: Performing Arts Centre.

People can also travel to the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

When driving, slow down and turn on the headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see.

4.05PM

THE Red Cross has activated its Register.Find.Reunite service for people affected by bushfires in the North Grampians region.

The service is designed to help people let their family and friends know where they are in an emergency.

Red Cross state manager for emergency services Adam Dent said people could visit www.redcross.org.au and register with the service.

4PM

THE Country Fire Authority has issued an emergency warning for Grampians Junction, Halls Gap.

There is a fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire travelling in a south easterly direction from the north end of the Grampians National Park towards Halls Gap.

 The fire now extends from Roses Gap down the western side of the Mt Zero Road and the front is currently two kilometres north of Halls Gap.

CFA says: You are in danger, act now to protect yourself. It is too late to leave. The safest option is to take shelter indoors immediately.

The closest Neighbourhood Safer Place is at the surrounds of the Halls Gap Visitor Information Centre, on the corner of Grampians Road and Heath Street, Halls Gap.

A relief centre will operate from Stawell Leisure Centre.

An emergency warning for Cherrypool, Glenisla Crossing, Heathvale, Laharum, Wartook and Brimpaen has been issued. 

There is a fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire in the Grampians area.

The fire is about 33,000 hecatres in size.

The predicted wind change has arrived and is causing erratic fire conditions.

3.40PM

AN EMERGENCY warning has been issued for Black Range, Mokepilly and Rhymney.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries advises people in those areas are now in danger and need to protect themselves.

An emergency has also been issued for Dadswells Bridge and Ledcourt.

Dadswells Bridge could be impacted any time within the next two hours.

The Black Range fire is covering about 25 hectares and is about seven kilometres south of Stawell, travelling south towards Mokepilly.

A fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire travelling in a north-easterly direction from the Grampians National Park towards Dadswells Bridge and Ledcourt.

It is eight kilometres south of Dadswells Bridge.

Leaving now is the safest option.

2.55PM

THE Western Highway has been closed in both directions between Ballarat and Horsham due to fire. 

Police are directing traffic via detours and advising motorists to only embark on essential travel as visibility could be difficult in the area.

2PM

WIMMERA Superintendent Graham Kent has urged urged people in danger to leave now.

Read the details HERE.

1.50PM

AN EMERGENCY warning for Heathvale, Laharum and Wartook remains in place as a 21,000-hectare fire rages in the area.

The fast-moving, out-of-control fire is in the Wartook and Laharum area.

The Country Fire Authority warns it is too late to leave and urges people to take shelter indoors immediately.

Another emergency warning covers Cherrypool, Glenisla Crossing and Glenisla for the Grampians bushfire.

Residents are warned leaving now is the safest option.

Relief centres: Horsham: Senior Citizens Centre; Stawell: Leisure Centre; Hamilton: Indoor-Outdoor Leisure Centre; Ararat: Performing Arts Centre.

A watch and act message is in place for Pomonal, Lake Fyans and Mokepilly.

A fast-moving grass fire is travelling in a southery direction from Grampians Road and is not yet under control.

The CFA urges people to leave now in case conditions change.

1.20PM

A BUSHFIRE in the Brimpaen area has grown to 21,000 hectres in size.

The Country Fire Authority has issued an emergency warning for Brimpaen and the Grahams Bridge Road in the Brimpaen area.

The fast-moving fire is out of control.

The CFA warns people they are in immediate danger and asks them to act now to protect themselves.

It is too late to leave.

A predicted wind change will arrive about 2pm. Fire conditions might change and become highly erratic.

Relief centres: Horsham: Senior Citizens Centre; Stawell: Leisure Centre; Hamilton: Indoor-Outdoor Leisure Centre; Ararat: Performing Arts Centre.

Safety Information

When indoors:

Close all exterior doors, windows and vents and turn off cooling systems.

Shelter in a room that has a door and or a window to the outside - It is critical to keep an eye on what is happening with the fire.

If you cannot get indoors, other last resort options include:

A large open area like a ploughed paddock, football oval or sporting reserve.

A large body of water like a dam, lake, river, the ocean or inground pool.

Try to protect yourself from the fire's heat.

In the car:

Park behind a solid structure to block the fire's heat or pull over to a cleared area.

Try to position the car towards the approaching fire.

Put on your hazard lights and headlights.

Turn the engine off, close all windows and ensure that car air vents are closed.

Get down as low as possible below window level and cover up with a woolen blanket.

If you are travelling, do not enter the area, U-turn to safety.

If you are away from home, do not return.

For life or property threatening emergencies call 000

12.50PM

TRAGEDY: One person has died in the Northern Grampians bushfire. 

Victoria Police said a person had been located in Roses Gap. 

The death is being treated as occurring as a result of the fires. 

Arson and explosives squad investigators are heading to the scene.

12.30PM

AN ADVICE warning has been issued for Dimboola, Kiata, Leeor, Nhill, Yanac, Kiata East, Kaniva and the Big Desert as a fire continues to burn 59 kilometres north-west of Yanac.

There is currently no threat to communities, but residents should continue to stay informed and monitor conditions.

12.20PM

WIMMERA superintendent Graham Kent has urged residents in Halls Gap and Dadswells Bridge to evacuate.

Speaking at a community meeting in Dadswells Bridge at noon on Friday, Mr Kent said emergency services' primary mission was to preserve life.

"Predicting what's happening is fraught. We are not able to say when you can return," he said.

NOON

AN advice messaged has been issued for Hopetoun west due to a fire 13 kilometres north of Yaapeet.

There is currently no threat to communities, but residents are being urged to stay informed and monitor conditions.

Murray Sunset, Hattah Kulkyne and Wyperfeld National Parks and the Big Desert Wilderness Park are closed to the public.

11.30AM

POLICE and SES are door knocking homes in Halls Gap, Pomonal, Bellfield, Lake Fyans and Lake Lonsdale after they were told to evacuate. A community meeting was held at the Halls Gap Recreation Centre where residents were told a wind change expected in the next three to five hours would turn the fire in the direction of the township.

11.30AM

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued an advice message for Telangatuk and Telangatuk East.

The Northern Grampians fire is traveling in a south westerly direction near Brimpaen and is expected to cross the Henty Highway, which could impact on the Black Range state park.

Residents are being advised there is no threat but they should plan for what they will do if the situation changes.

 Smoke will be visible from nearby communities and roads.

11.08AM

EMERGENCY warnings remain in place for Brimpaen.

The Northern Grampians fire remains out of control and is travelling in a south westerly direction from Heathvale towards Brimpaen. 

This fire will impact the Grahams Bridge Road area at Brimpaen. 

Residents have been advised it is too late to leave and the safest option is to take shelter indoors immediately.

11AM

AN emergency warning has been issued for Cherrypool, Glenisla and Glenisla Crossing as a fire continues to burn out of control 18 kilometres south-west of Dadswells Bridge.

The fire is approximately 11,000 hectares in size. 

There are spot fires and ember attacks several kilometres ahead of the fire front.

The fire has the potential to reach the Henty Hwy.

The CFA has advised that leaving now is the safest option before conditions become too dangerous.

Travel to: Hamilton or the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

Road closured: Henty Highway closed at Cavendish. 

10.30AM

RESIDENTS in Halls Gap, Pomonal, Bellfield, Lake Fyans and Lake Lonsdale have been urged to evacuate.

Evacuation Information: 

* If you are located in Pomonal, Bellfield, Lake Fyans, Halls Gap, Lake Lonsdale, it is strongly recommended that you evacuate and seek shelter at the Relief Centre at the Stawell Leisure Centre 49-51 Houston Street, Stawell. You should travel to Stawell via the Grampians Road.

* The advice is current to 3pm - after that time it could be too late to leave.

* Last resort options include a Neighbourhood Safer Place, a stationary car in a cleared area, a ploughed paddock or reserve or body of water like a swimming pool or dam.

* If you are away from home; do not return.

If you choose to stay, emergency services might not be able to help you.

9.15AM

AN emergency warning has been issued for Cherrypool, Glenisla and Glenisla Crossing.

Residents have been advised to leave now before conditions become too dangerous.

The out of control Northern Grampians fire is more than 11,000 hectares in size.

There are spot fires and ember attacks several kilometres ahead of the fire front.

The Henty Highway is closed at Cavendish and the fire has the potential to reach the highway.

Travel to: Hamilton or the home of family or friends away from the warning area.

Road closures: Check the VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

8.30AM

EMERGENCY warnings remain in place for Brimpaen, Laharum and Heathvale as a fast moving, out of control bushfire burns 18 kilometres south-west of Dadswells Bridge.

Spot fire and ember attacks are occurring in the area. 

Residents have been warned to shelter indoors and keep aware of fire conditions. 

Road closures: Check the VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

8AM

A watch and act message is in place for Grampians Junction, Halls Gap and Bellfield.

The 11,300-hectare Northen Grampians fire continues to burn out of control and Grampians Junction, Halls Gap, Bellfield could be affected between 1pm and 3pm.

The CFA has advised people to leave now and travel to Stawell or family and friends' homes that are away from the warning area.

Due to extreme fire danger today this message is expected to be upgraded to an emergency warning later today.

2.15AM

AN emergency warning has been issued for Brimpaen as a fast-moving, out of control bushfire burns towards the area.

Residents have been warned to take shelter indoors immediately.

1.30AM

AN emergency warning remains in place for Wartook as a fire travelling in a southerly and easterly direction burns out of control. 

The fire is impacting private property between Flagstaff Track and Roses Gap Road.

Spot fires and ember attacks are occurring ahead of the fire front in private properties.

The wind is pushing this fire in a westerly direction towards Wartook.

Residents have been warned they need to act now to protect themselves and that it is too late to leave.

An emergency warning also remains in place for Laharum and Heathvale and residents have been warned to leave.

10.30PM

AN EMERGENCY warning remains in place for Wartook Valley as southerly and westerly winds push an out-of-control bushfire from the Pohlners Road area towards the valley.

Spot fires and ember attacks are occurring ahead of the fire front towards private properties.

Wartook Valley between Flagstaff Track and Roses Gap could still be affected  any time within the next few hours.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries said leaving now was the safest option, before conditions became too dangerous.

The department said emergency services might not be able to help people if they decided to stay.

Travel to: Relief centre located at Horsham Senior Citizens Centre, Roberts Ave Horsham; the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area; or the nearest regional area, such as Horsham or Hamilton.

Road closures: Check the VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

When driving, slow down and turn on your headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see. 

FOR MORE FIRE PHOTOS, CLICK THE IMAGE ABOVE

8.20PM

LAHARUM and Heathvale have been issued with an emergency warning for the Grampians-Northern Grampians Complex fire.

The fast-moving bushfire is heading is a south-westerly direction from the Grampians National Park towards Camerons Road and the Windfields Road and Smith Road area.

Spotfires and ember attacks are occurring in this area.

The Camerons Road, Smiths Road and Winfields Road areas near Laharum could be impacted anytime within the next two hours. 

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries said leaving now was the safest option, before conditions became too dangerous.

The department said emergency services might not be able to help people if they decided to stay.

Travel to: Relief centre located at Horsham Senior Citizens Centre, Roberts Ave Horsham; the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area; or the nearest regional area, such as Horsham or Hamilton.

Road closures: Check the VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

When driving, slow down and turn on your headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see. 

The Country Fire Authority has issued an advice warning for the communities of Dimboola, Kiata, Nhill, Kiata East, Yanac South and Kaniva for a fire in the Big Desert.

There is no threat to communities but the CFA has encouraged residents to stay informed and monitor conditions.

Smoke will be visible from nearby communities and roads.

8.10PM

AN OUT-OF-CONTROL bushfire is now heading in southerly and westerly directions from the Pohlners Road area towards the Wartook Valley.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued an emergency warning for the valley.

Spotfires and ember attacks are occurring ahead of the fire front towards private properties. 

The wind is now pushing this fire in a westerly direction towards Wartook.

Wartook Valley between Flagstaff Track and Roses Gap could be impacted any time within the next few hours.

The department says: Leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous.

Emergency services might not be able to help people if they decide to stay.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Horsham Senior Citizens Centre, Roberts Ave, Horsham; the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area; or the nearest regional area, such as Horsham or Hamilton.

Road closures: There are multiple road closures in the park area. Refer to VicRoads website at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

For life or property threatening emergencies call 000.

7.25PM

FIRE behaviour analyst Andrew Sturgess warned people at the Laharum community meeting that Friday would be a borderline catastrophic fire danger day.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries brought the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service employee in to work at the Horsham Incident Control Centre.

7.20PM

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued an emergency warning for Wartook Valley.

The Grampians-Northern Grampians Complex fire is out of control and travelling in a southerly direction from the Pohlners Road area towards the Wartook Valley.

The fire is heading towards private property between Flagstaff Track and Roses Gap Road. 

Spotfires and ember attacks are occurring ahead of the fire front towards private properties. 

Wartook Valley between Flagstaff Track and Roses Gap could be affected any time within the next few hours.

The department says leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous.

It warns emergency services might not not be able to help people if they decide to stay.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Horsham Senior Citizens Centre, Roberts Ave, Horsham; The home of family or friends that is away from the warning area; or the nearest regional area, such as Horsham or Hamilton.

When driving, slow down and turn on your headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see.

Road closures: There are multiple road closures in the park area.

Refer to VicRoads website: www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

6.40PM

THE Country Fire Authority has issued an emergency warning for towns north-west of Telopea Downs.

The warning covers Buckhurst, Arthurs Road, Red Bluff Road, and Taylors Road north-west of Telopea Downs to the South Australian border.

A fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire is travelling south from within the Big Desert National Park and could impact any time within two hours.

Residents are urged to leave before conditions become too dangerous.

Travel to: The home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

6PM

AN EXTREME fire danger weather warning has been issued for the Wimmera for Friday.

Temperatures are forecast to reach 44 degrees with a change at around 5pm bringing storms and high wind gusts.

On the CFA fire danger ratings system extreme fire conditions means: If a fire starts and takes hold, it will be uncontrollable, unpredictable and fast moving. Spot fires will start, move quickly and come from many directions.

Homes that are situated and constructed or modified to withstand a bushfire, that are well prepared and actively defended, might provide safety. You must be physically and mentally prepared to defend in these conditions

In the Mallee, Friday will be a day of severe fire danger.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued an emergency warning for Roses Gap, Heathvale, Laharum, Zumsteins and Wartook.

The fires in the Northern Grampians have merged and are now known as Grampians-Northern Grampians Complex.

The bushfire is out of control and travelling in a southerly direction from the Pohlners Road area towards the Wartook Valley, along the Mount Difficult Range.

The fire has crossed Roses Gap Road.

Private property in the Smiths Road area is under attack and a separate emergency warning is current for that area. 

5.40PM

IT IS now too late to leave for people in the Smiths Road area at Wartook as the Grampians-Northern Grampians fire burns out of control.

Department of Environment and Primary Industries spokeswoman Melissa Douglas said the fire had begun to reach properties in the area.

"The fire has moved out into private land and it's impacting property on Smiths Road and we're advising residents on Smiths Road to shelter now," she said.

"Whatever happens tonight, we're working really hard because tomorrow is going to be really bad."

5.22PM

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued an emergency warning for Wartook, telling residents it is too late to leave.

There is a fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire travelling in a southerly direction from the Pohlners Road area of the Grampians National Park towards the Smiths Road area of Wartook Valley.

The department warns: People in the Smiths Road area is in danger and has to act now to protect themselves.

Spotfires and ember attack are occurring in the Smiths Road area.

It is too late to leave. The safest option is to take shelter indoors immediately.

Safety Information:

When indoors:

Close all exterior doors, windows and vents and turn off cooling systems.

Shelter in a room that has a door and or a window to the outside - It is critical to keep an eye on what is happening with the fire.

If you cannot get indoors, other last resort options include:

A large open area like a ploughed paddock, football oval or sporting reserve.

A large body of water like a dam, lake, river, the ocean or inground pool.

Try to protect yourself from the fire's heat.

In the car:

Park behind a solid structure to block the fire's heat or pull over to a cleared area.

Put on your hazard lights and headlights.

Turn the engine off, close all windows and ensure that car air vents are closed.

Get down as low as possible below window level and cover up with a woolen blanket.

If you are travelling, do not enter the area, U-turn to safety.

If you are away from home, do not return.

For life or property threatening emergencies call 000.

5PM

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries has updated the watch and act message for Jeparit, Kurnbrunin, Lake Hindmarsh, Lorquon, Lorquon West, Netherby, Nypo, Rainbow, Rosebery, Tarranyurk, Warracknabeal, Yaapeet, Yanac, Yellangip, Hopetoun, Kenmare, Pella, Brim, Beulah and Beulah West.

The Lake Albacutya Freeway Track fire is a large out-of-control 6656-hectare bushfire near Goslings Road and is being actively managed by ground crew.

The CFA is urging people to leave now as it might not be safe to do so later.

Travel to: The home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

4.50PM

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued a downgraded watch and act message for Hopetoun West.

The fire is still out of control and burning in the vicinity of Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve and Eys Moyles Road.

The CFA reminds people to closely monitor updates.

4.30PM

GRAMPIANS FIRE

HORSHAM Incident Control Centre media officer Melissa Douglas says the terrain in the area is making fighting the Grampians-Northern Grampians Comples fire extremely difficult.

"At the moment we've got 11 aircraft and 17 vehicles,'' she said.

"It's in really difficult terrain in the mountains with lots of rocky areas and gullies.''

The entire Grampians National Park has been closed and will be closed on Friday.

The CFA has warned Roses Gap, Heathvale, Laharum, Zumsteins and Wartook residents that leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Horsham Senior Citizens Centre, Roberts Ave, Horsham; the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area; or the nearest regional area, such as Horsham or Hamilton. 

Community meeting: A community meeting will be on at the Laharum Hall at 6pm. 

Road closures: Most roads entering the Northern Grampians area are closed. Refer to VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au for further information. 

4.15PM

THE Country Fire Authority has updated its emergency warning for Roses Gap, Heathvale, Laharum, Zumsteins and Wartook.

Two bushfires in the northern Grampians have merged and are now known as the Grampians-Northern Grampians Complex.

The bushfire is out of control and travelling in a southerly direction from the Pohlners Road area towards the Wartook Valley, along the Mount Difficult Range.

The fire has crossed Roses Gap Road.

Wartook and Laharum could be impacted at any time.

The CFA warns leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Horsham Senior Citizens Centre, Roberts Ave, Horsham; the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area; or the nearest regional area, such as Horsham or Hamilton. 

Community meeting: A community meeting will be on at the Laharum Hall at 6pm. 

Road closures: Most roads entering the Northern Grampians area are closed. Refer to VicRoads website www.vicroads.vic.gov.au for further information. 

3.45PM

AN EMERGENCY warning has been issued for Telopea Downs.

The Country Fire Authority issued the warning for Buckhurst, Arthurs Road, Red Bluff Road, and Taylors Road north west of Telopea Downs to the South Australian border.

There is a fast-moving, out-of-control travelling south from the Big Desert National Park.

Buckhurst, Arthurs Road, Red Bluff Road and Taylors Road north west of Telopea Downs to the South Australian border could be impacted anytime within the next two hours.

Leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous.

Emergency services may not be able to help if you decide to stay.

Travel to: The home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

If travelling, do not enter the area, U-turn to safety.

If away from home, do not return.

For life or property-threatening emergencies call 000.

If people need medical advice for burns or smoke exposure call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.

2.10PM

AN EMERGENCY warning has been issued for Roses Gap, Heathvale, Laharum, Zumsteins and Wartook.

Authorities are urging residents to leave now.

Wartook and Laharum could be impacted at any time today.

There are two out-of-control bushfires travelling in a southerly direction from the Pohlners Road area towards the Wartook Valley.

Spotfires and ember attacks are occurring across Roses Gap Road.

Leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous.

Emergency services might not be able to help if you decide to stay.

Community meeting: A community meeting will be on at the Laharum Hall at 6pm. 

The fires started about 11 kilometres south-west of Dadswells Bridge.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Horsham Senior Citizens Centre, Roberts Ave, Horsham; the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area; or the nearest regional area, such as Horsham or Hamilton. 

When driving, slow down and turn on your headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see.

Farmers are advised to consider moving their stock to safer areas with reduced fuel loads, water and food. 

A telephone alert has been sent to visitors in the Grampians National Park advising them to leave. 

Road Closures: 

Pohlners Road.

From 2pm the North Grampians Road, also known as Mt Victory Road will be closed from Halls Gap to the intersection of Brimpaen and Northern Grampians Roads. Local residents will be able to access this road.

The Roses Gap Road will be closed from the intersection of Mt Zero Road to the intersection of Northern Grampians Road.

The whole of Mt Zero Road is closed. 

1.30PM

A quick wrap on Wimmera fires:

GRAMPIANS

Laharum, Roses Gap, Zumsteins, Wartook and Heathvale all have a watch and act issued because of two bushfires heading south.

The fires are travelling along rocky escarpment country in the northern end of the Grampians National Park.

These fires are located in very difficult terrain for fire-fighters to access and fire operations are focused on air attack.

The Grampians-Pohlners Road East bushfire measures 100 hectares.

The fires are not under control and could impact Wartook and Laharum at any time.

Residents are urged to leave.

PHOTOS: Take a look at fire photos here

BIG DESERT

This Pigick-Bullygall Road blaze is a large grass fire with five trucks at the scene.

It is still going.

TELOPEA DOWNS

Murrawong North Road has a small grass fire with four appliances attending.

LOWER NORTON

A small fire at Lower Norton has been contained.

BLACK RANGE

A small grass fire on Bunjils Cave Road is in difficult terrain and is burning at the top of the ridge line.

12.30PM

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries has updated the watch and act message for Grampians-Pohlners Road West fire.

People are advised to leave now as it might not be safe to do so later.

The fire could impact Wartook and Laharum at any time.

A community meeting will be on at 6pm at the Laharum Hall for residents in Laharum, Wartook and surrounding communities.

Horsham Incident Control Centre's Jenny McGennisken said the fire was concerning for Laharum, Roses Gap, Heathvale, Zumsteins and Wartook.

"With the wind and tomorrow's conditions the fire has the potential to impact out of the park into Wartook Valley," she said.

"Because of the terrain it's inaccessible for ground crews so it's using air attack.

"They're doing the best they can but the fires still active and going."

Mrs McGennisken said a late change of weather on Thursday could bring about a worst-case scenario.

"We'll see strengthening winds, fast and gusty wind, and we're looking at erratic fire expected on the ground and lighting with the change," she said.

"We're looking at the change through Horsham about 5pm and we're really looking at the worst conditions at around the time of the change."

Mrs McGennisken said it was important that people continued to stay up to date with the latest information.

"We just need people to make sure that they're accessing as many mediums as they can for information and to make sure they activate their fire plan," she said.

A watch and act remains in place for Jeparit, Kurnbrunin, Lake Hindmarsh, Lorquon, Lorquon West, Netherby, Nypo, Rainbow, Rosebery, Tarranyurk, Warracknabeal, Yaapeet, Yanac, Yellangip, Hopetoun, Kenmare, Pella, Brim, Beulah, Beulah West as the Lake Albacutya Freeway Track fire continues to burn out of control.

DEPI Mildura media office Aaron Walder said the CFA was still working hard to try and bring the fire under control.

"Pretty much we're still trying to get it under control and everything in that message is still valid with regards to people being aware there quite a bit of activity in the area," he said.

"At this stage we're obviously trying to contain it as a quickly as possible."

10.50AM

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries have issued a watch and act message for Roses Gap, Heathvale, Laharum, Zumsteins and Wartook.

There are two out-of-control bushfires travelling in a southerly direction in rocky escarpment country in the northern end of the Grampians National Park.

These fires originate from near Pohlners Road. 

The department encourages people to leave now.

The fire could impact Wartook and Laharum at any time today.

Travel to: The home of family or friends that is away from the warning area; or to the nearest regional area such as Horsham or Hamilton.

Road Closures: Pohlners Road.

When driving, slow down and turn on your headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see.

10.30AM

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued an updated watch and act message for Jeparit, Kurnbrunin, Lake Hindmarsh, Lorquon, Lorquon West, Netherby, Nypo, Rainbow, Rosebery, Tarranyurk, Warracknabeal, Yaapeet, Yanac, Yellangip, Hopetoun, Kenmare, Pella, Brim, Beulah and Beulah West.

The Lake Albacutya Freeway Track fire is a large 6656-hectare bushfire in the vicinity of Goslings Road.

It is being actively managed by ground crew.

The bushfire is out of control and the department encourages people to leave now.

Travel to: The home of family or friends that is away from the warning area. 

10AM

Firefighters are responding to three small fires in the Pohlners Road area, Grampians National Park, that are about 11 kilometres south-west of Dadswells Bridge.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries advises people in Roses Gap, Dadswells Bridge and Laharum there is currently no threat to communities but to continue monitoring the situation.

Hopetoun West has been issued a watch and act message for a fire in the Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve and Eys Moyles Road area.

The department encourages people to stay close to shelter and to monitor the situation.

9AM

We start today off on a good note, with an emergency warning for Yaapeet removed.

However, several Wimmera areas have been issued with a watch and act message because of the Lake Albacutya Freeway Track bushfire.

Jeparit, Kurnbrunin, Lake Hindmarsh, Lorquon, Lorquon West, Netherby, Nypo, Rainbow, Rosebery, Tarranyurk, Warracknabeal, Yaapeet, Yanac, Yellangip, Hopetoun, Kenmare, Pella, Brim, Beulah, Beulah West have all received the Department of Environment and Primary Industries message.

There is a large 6656 hectare bushfire is in the vicinity of Goslings Road and is being actively managed by ground crew.

This bushfire is not yet under control.

The department encourages people to leave and warn conditions might change and get worse quickly.

Travel to: The home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

WEDNESDAY

6.30PM

AN EMERGENCY warning for Hopetoun West has been downgraded.

The area still has a watch and act alert for the fast-moving, out-of-control bushfire travelling in a southerly direction from Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve towards Eys Moyles Road.

The Country Fire Authority says staying close to shelter is the safest option, in case conditions change again suddenly.

Continue to stay informed and monitor conditions.

An emergency warning is still issued for Yaapeet.

The CFA warns: You are now in immediate danger, act now to protect yourself. Emergency services might not be able to help if you decide to stay.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Yaapeet Recreation Reserve or the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

A watch and act alert is still in place for Dunkeld.

6PM

A WATCH and act alert has been issused for Dunkeld because of a bushfire in the Grampians National Park.

The fire burning 800 metres east of the Bundol Road and Victoria Valley Road intersection in a northerly direction.

The bushfire is not yet controlled.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries encourages people to leave now.

Conditions might change and get worse very quickly.

Emergency services might not be able to help people if they decide to stay.

Travel to: The home of family or friends that is away from the warning area. The nearest regional area is Hamilton.

When driving, slow down and turn on your headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see.

IN OTHER areas, storms are lashing the Wimmera with lightning, high winds and heavy rainfall.

The temperature at the Horsham Aerodrome dropped from 41.5 degrees at 4pm to 28 degrees at 5.35pm with 1.2mm of rain falling in that time.

Hopetoun has seen 0.6mm of rain but temperatures remain in the mid-30s.

Elsewhere in the region no rain has been recorded, with temperatures remaining in the high 30s.

Small fires in Horsham have been declared safe, while a small fire at Vectis is still going.

5.30PM

MULTIPLE fires have broken out in Horsham's surrounds as severe thunderstorms descend on the region.

Country Fire Authority units are responding to a bush fire near the corner of Curran Road and Natimuk Road.

There are also three fires in Vectis with units also responding.

5PM

THE Bureau of Meteorology has warned severe thunderstorms are likely to produce damaging winds in the Wimmera for the next several hours.

The State Emergency Service advises that people should keep clear of fallen power lines, secure any loose objects in the vicinity of your home, keep away from creeks and drains, do not drive vehicles through flooded areas, stay indoors if possible, avoid using the phone during the storm, if you are outside, avoid sheltering under trees, listen to the radio for storm updates, and switch off your computer and electrical appliances.

A Bureau of Meteorology spokeswoman for the bureau said the storms posed a fire threat because they contained dry lightning.

This means rain that usually accompanied a lightning storm and evaporated before reaching the ground.

Fire conditions will be at their worst on Friday when storm activity and wind gusts of up to 80 kmh will combine to raise fire danger.

"Friday is our greatest concern this week, that's the biggie," the spokeswoman said.

"The good news is we're expecting the cool change later on Friday before easing off for the weekend when we get cooler and much more stable conditions."

Temperatures are forecast to reach 44 degrees on Thursday and 43 degrees on Friday before a late afternoon south-westerly wind will sweep through the district lowering temperatures to 31 degrees for both days of the weekend.

4.30PM

AN EMERGENCY warning has now been issued for Hopetoun West.

There is a fast moving, out-of-control bushfire travelling in a southerly direction from Paradise Flora and Fauna Reserve towards Eys Moyles Road.

The Country Fire Authority warns Hopetoun West could be impacted any time within the next two hours.

The authority warns leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous.

Emergency services might not be able to help if people decide to stay.

Travel to: The home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

When driving, slow down and turn on your headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see.

An emergency warning is still issued for Yaapeet.

An out-of-control bush fire is also burning just off the Western Highway eight kilometres south-east of Dimboola.

It has been classed as a small bushfire and two CFA trucks are at the scene.

4.05PM

AN EMERGENCY warning remains in place for Yaapeet as an out-of-control bushfire approaches.

The fast-moving bushfire is travelling in a south-easterly direction from Goslings Road.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries warns that Nypo and Yaapeet could be impacted anytime within the next two hours.

Leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Yaapeet Recreation Reserve or the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

When driving, slow down and turn on your headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see.

3.35PM

AN EMERGENCY warning has been issued for Yaapeet.

There is a fast moving, out-of-control bushfire travelling in a south-easterly direction from Goslings Road.

The Department of Environment and Primary Industries warn Nypo and Yaapeet could be impacted anytime within the next two hours.

The department warns leaving now is the safest option, before conditions become too dangerous.

Emergency services might not be able to help if people decide to stay.

Travel to: The Relief Centre at Yaapeet Recreation Reserve or the home of family or friends that is away from the warning area.

When driving, slow down and turn on your headlights; smoke will make it difficult to see.

12.45PM

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued a watch and act message for a fire north-west of Yaapeet.

The Lake Albacutya Freeway Track fire is travelling quickly in a south-easterly direction near Goslings Road.

The department issued advice for people in Rainbow, Yaapeet, Pella, Albacutypa and Nypo at 12.20pm.

The fire is not under control.

TUESDAY

8PM

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued advice regarding a fire north-west of Yaapeet.

Advice was issued for Rainbow, Rosebery, Werrap, Yaapeet, Hopetoun, Kenmare, Pella, Burroin, Brentwood, Beulah, Beulah West, Albacutya, Goyura, Hopevale, Kurnbrunin, Hopetoun West and Nypo at 8.07pm.

Bushfires at the Little Desert National Park and Wyperfield National Park are still burning. 

A medium grass fire at Big Desert is still going and has six appliances at the scene.

There are also small grass fires at Donald, Laen North, Nhill, Broughton, Telopea Downs, Netherby and Yanac.

At 6.25pm, the Country Fire Authority issued a 'watch and act' message for Rainbow.

A small five-hectare bushfire was travelling quickly in a easterly direction from Fuller Road towards Rainbow.

The authority warned strong gusty westerly winds were expected within a few hours and the fire could impact Rainbow any time between 8pm and midnight.

A medium grass fire at Rupanyup has been contained, while a medium grass fire at Boolite and a small grass fire at Raibow have been controlled.

A large fire at Yanac and other fires at Beulah and Rupanyup have been declared safe.

6PM

A 20-HECTARE bushfire is travelling quickly towards Yaapeet.

THE Department of Environment and Primary Industries has issued a 'watch and act' message for Yaapeet.

The department warns the fire could impact Yaapeet and surrounding areas any time between 7pm and 11pm.

The medium-sized bushfire is travelling in an easterly direction from Lake Albacutya Park.

It is not under control.

In the Mallee, fire-fighters are dealing with bushfires west and north-west of Yaapeet and north-west of Rainbow.

Earlier

A LARGE grass fire near Dimboola has been controlled.

The fire, about 20 kilometres north-east of Dimboola, was near the Geodetic road north of Nitschkes Road.

Six appliances attended and the Country Fire Authority issued advice for the area.

A grass fire at Murtoa near the Wimmera Highway has also been declared safe.

Five appliances attended the fire.

A small structure fire at Warracknabeal has been controlled.

There have also been small fires in Yanac, Rainbow, Big Desert and Murtoa.

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