The death toll from Black Saturday's fires has been revised down from 210 to 173.
A Victoria Police spokeswoman said the number of deaths had been changed after "extensive examinations".
Deputy Commissioner Kieran Walshe said after remains were scientifically examined some that were initially believed to have belonged to two or more people turned out to be a single person.
"Over the past six weeks we have gone through tens of thousands of records and documentation, working closely with the Red Cross and the Coroner's office to ensure that the figure we have is as accurate as it possibly can be at this time," he said.
"We have been able to account for a number of people who were initially presumed missing as a result of the fires and this has impacted on the final figure."
Deputy Commissioner Walshe said animal remains had also been eliminated during the identification process that had reduced the death toll.
The number of people killed in Marysville, which will reopen to the public today at 1pm, was originally thought to be 45 but is now believed to be 34.
Revised tolls were also issued for the townships of Strathewen, lowered from 43 to 27 and St Andrews, reduced from 22 people to 12.
The Coroner has so far formally identified 87 victims but it is feared some people may never be able to be officially identified.
"As we have said many times before, the unfortunate reality is that due to the ferocity of the fires, despite the best efforts of police and the Coroner, we may not be able to formally identify everyone," Deputy Commissioner Walshe said.
Members of the disaster victim identification teams that faced the grim task of sifting through the rubble of devastated towns initially believed about 210 people had died.
Deputy Commissioner Walshe said 173 was a provisional estimate and a final death toll would not be known until the Coroner's work was finished.
He thanked the DVI teams for their professionalism while carrying out distressing duties.
"I would like to thank them all for their diligence and commitment to ensuring that every individual who died during the fires was treated with respect and dignity," he said.
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