VICTORIANS face a day of severe fire danger today with temperatures hovering around 40C and two troublesome blazes burning.
Temperatures of 42C are expected in some areas, with Melbourne tipped to reach 37C, and northwesterly winds up to 50km/h forecast.
A total fire ban has been declared statewide and two districts, the Wimmera and north central, have been rated areas of extreme fire danger.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Tracey Malmborg said Victoria would bake under high temperatures until a change sweeps the state late in the afternoon.
"We're anticipating a very hot, dry and windy day across Victoria and there could also be some lightning around," Ms Malmborg said.
A southwesterly change is expected to push through the Wimmera to Melbourne around 4pm (AEDT).
There are 12 fires in Victoria, with two of concern to authorities, Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said.
Fire crews hope to have a fire at Kentbruck in the far southwest contained by 8am today.
Crews will also keep a close eye on a fire at Goroke in the Wimmera region, which began on Tuesday and became active again yesterday.
Today's late change will carry over into a mild weekend, but Ms Malmborg expects the temperature to warm up again into next week.
"That relentless ball of hot air is forecast to be dragged back down across Victoria later again next week so we could see fire dangers becoming elevated again and, unfortunately, there is no significant rainfall inside that timeframe."
Meanwhile, a total fire ban is in place in the ACT today.
A severe fire danger rating is predicted, with the weather bureau predicting a very hot day with west to northwesterly winds and a top of 36C.
The total fire ban came into force at midnight and applies for 24 hours.
Authorities warn any fire today may by uncontrollable and move quickly, with flames that may be higher than roof tops, and with embers and spot fires as far as four kilometres ahead of the fire.
Details: ESA website: www.esa.act.gov.au or its Facebook or Twitter accounts, or Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.