VICTORIA'S Emergency Services Commissioner has launched a probe into the Harrietville bushfire.
It comes amid accusations of mishandling by emergency services.
Bushfire Response Minister Peter Ryan said the Department of Sustainability's response in the first 72 hours of the bushfire would be at the centre of Commissioner Michael Hallowes' investigation.
Dr Bill Sykes, the member for Benalla, said he had put widespread concerns about the management of the fire to Mr Ryan.
"In essence, people are saying it wasn't hit hard enough in the first 24 hours," Dr Sykes said.
Harrietville residents have criticised the DSE for leaving the fire unstaffed overnight after relieving CFA crews who initially attended the blaze.
Concerns the DSE deployed a faulty bulldozer to create control lines, and that another was lost after going in the wrong direction, have been raised in Federal Parliament.
Harrietville resident John Atkins said many community members believed the blaze could have been quelled within hours.
"The overall question is about whether we had the right momentum, the right urgency and even the right resources to hit this fire right at the beginning," Mr Atkins said.
"This is the third fire we have had in 10 years in this area. Everybody knew if this fire escaped, we would suffer the consequences that we did."
The fire has burnt out thousands of hectares in Victoria's Alpine region after it was sparked by lightning on January 21.
Parts of the Great Alpine Rd between Harrietville and Mt Hotham are still blocked, which could cripple Labour Day and Easter weekend tourism.
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