UPDATE: A COOL wind change has swept across Victoria, dampening a serious fire threat.But the firefighting in the state's Alpine and Gippsland regions could continue for weeks with the wind now blowing two main fire fronts away from townships and back into vast, dry bushland.
In Heyfield, about 200km east of Melbourne, fire crews were able to stop the 66,000 hectare Aberfeldy blaze on Friday afternoon from roaring further into Gippsland properties.
"We've endured the wind changes. The fire hasn't run hard. It hit the edge hard in places, but we've dealt with that," CFA incident controller Dennis Matthews told reporters about the successful fire fight.
"We see no immediate threat to the community."
But authorities are now dealing with what may be deliberately lit blazes found burning away from the main Gippsland bushfire in grassland, around 11am (AEDT). Police are investigating.
Residents were spared a second onslaught from the fire that had days earlier claimed a life in Seaton and burned down multiple homes.
Unlike last week, when the blaze sent a thick haze as far as Melbourne's western suburbs, two wind changes swept through the area yesterday but didn't push the fires into the towns.
"I'm very relieved for the town itself," said Rob Gibbs, who spent days in Cowwarr near the edge of the blaze, helping local CFA crews.
"It's a close-knit community. We need to protect the town."
Further north, in Harrietville, the fire threat was lowered but remained at a watch and act.
"There is still the potential for Harrietville to be affected, although the forecast winds aren't going to be as strong as we thought," said state control centre spokesman Lee Miezis.
Winds are now pushing the fire north or northwest.
Harrietville Hotel owner Tony Mitchell said he was never too worried about the 2550-hectare blaze.
"It's not different to the one we had in 2003, the fire that's creeping gently down the mountains towards us," Mr Mitchell said.
"We're just in a wait-and-see situation. I wouldn't say we're panicking."
A total fire ban will be lifted over the long weekend with fire danger ratings dropping from very high to low levels in some regions.
The weather bureau is forecasting cooler temperatures with possible showers.
State Control Centre spokesman Garry Weir said before yesterday's change there had been a flare up within lines around Glenmaggie and a spot fire at Cowwarr but they had been contained.
"The wind change was significant. It went through as the bureau had predicted and with the reduced temperatures and moisture in the wind it hasn't been too bad," Mr Weir said.