TWO fires are raging out of control as the state swelters on the fourth consecutive day of a spring heatwave.
A controlled burn on the Mornington Peninsula jumped containment lines yesterday afternoon and is yet to be brought under control.
The fire area has burned 13 hectares of bushland about five kilometres west of the town of Portsea.
Melbourne is sweltering in the longest run of November heat in more than 80 years, with today expected to be the fourth day in a row with temperatures of more than 30 degrees.
A top of 34 degrees is predicted.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Dean Stewart said the forecast temperature for tomorrow has been pushed up to 31 degrees.
"If we get to 31 tomorrow it will be the first five-day stretch of over 30 degrees in November since records began. The longest ever is six days in 1896," he said.
Two waterbombers, a bulldozer, 61 firefighters and two crews from the Department of Defence battled the Point Nepean blaze overnight.
The Department of Sustainability and Environment lit three fires in the Point Nepean National Park yesterday.
Two were to improve the safety of public access to the park and remove "unexplained ordinance" and the other was a controlled burn.
The fires were lit using aircraft to protect ground crews from unexploded ammunition in the area.
"Generally it’s controlled," DSE chief fire officer Ewan Waller told Radio 3AW.
"It’s just one edge we’ve got to tidy up. The dozers are working on it at the moment but we’re confident we’ll get it controlled. The weather is pretty good. There’ll be a southerly this afternoon, which we’ll have to watch but generally it seems we’ll get around OK."
Mr Waller said this week’s hot weather will help to dry out the state’s countryside "fairly quickly".
"We will all have to be on our toes," he said.
"People now have to get prepared. The message from the Premier down has been very, very strong. Individuals, communities and organisations have to get prepared.
"We’re in for quite a difficult hot period now and I think this is a forerunner into summer."
All visitors to the park were escorted out by Parks Victoria and Department of Sustainability and Environment staff.
Control lines have been built around all but 500 metres of the fire. The blaze will be attacked by air throughout the day. It is believed there is no current threat to homes or the public.
The Point Nepean National Park is closed.
Meanwhile, a blaze burning in remote country at Dock Inlet, near Cape Conran in East Gippsland, is expected to spread to 4600 hectares before crews can contain it later this week.
While coastal parts of Victoria can expect some relief mid-week, with maximums to dip to the high 20s, Mildura, on the Murray River in the state’s far north-west, is bracing for 43 degrees on Saturday.
Thursday is still expected to be cooler, with a fresh southerly wind blowing across Melbourne.
But with Saturday’s temperatures predicted to climb into the mid 30s and possibly beyond, Saturday represents a day of high fire danger.
"If anything, Saturday’s temperature may end up being in the high 30s, but officially it is still at 35," Mr Stewart said.
"We’re going for moderate to fresh wind but they will lead to fire dangers possibly the highest we’ve seen this spring.
"You’ve got parts of the state where the vegetation still isn’t totally dried out, but in the north-west corner of the state we’re expecting temperatures pushing into the low 40s. Fire dangers in those areas could get into the severe to extreme category - Mildura, Ouyen, Swan Hill, those sort of areas."
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