FIRE authorities have upgraded their warning to residents for an out-of-control fire in Victoria's alpine region.The Country Fire Authority increased its warning for residents in the Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain at 4.11pm this afternoon to a watch and act.
The windy conditions in the area increased the fire’s movement and cold embers have been reported at Hotham village prompting an upgrade in the CFA’s warning level for locals.
Authorities have concerns the fire which, has been burning for over two weeks, may have crossed the Great Alpine Road about 12km south of Harrietville.
Ovens incident control centre spokesman said the fire made a run in a westerly direction earlier in the day, but has now moved to a more southerly direction.
“The fire intensity has increased this afternoon, we are doing reconnaissance flights at the moment and will have an idea about the size of the fire when that’s done,” he said.
“Its going to put pressure on control lines as we head into the evening.”
He said if the fire cross the Great Alpine Road, which remained closed between Harrietville and Wire Plain, it would enter the Dargo catchment.
Access to forest and park areas north of Dargo is restricted as the Dargo High Plains Road is closed at Dargo, but the township of Dargo is open for business.
About 190 fire fighters are based at Hotham and Dinner Plain along with eight aircraft and 80 vehicles to protect the areas.
And crews have spent the last few days back burning south of Harrietville, and northwest of Mount Hotham's to limit the potential spread of the fire.
Grass fires also broke out near Ballarat and Warrnambool today, but neither had threatened properties, and both were declared safe within about an hour, a CFA spokeswoman said.
"Small things have been happening, but they've all been controlled fairly quickly," she said.
"The weather will continue to get hotter, though, so we'll have to wait and see what happens overnight."
Daily maximum temperatures are tipped to reach the mid-to-high 30s in much of the state until Sunday.
Most of Victoria will be subject to a total fire ban tomorrow, with many areas experiencing a severe fire danger rating, after bans in four fire districts today.
The total fire ban is in effect for the northern, northeast, East Gippsland, West and South Gippsland, central and north central districts for tomorrow.