Australia

Firefighters spend second weekend battling Victorian bushfires

Victorian firefighters continue to battle scores of blazes across the state. (AAP)

There's no rest for thousands of firefighters who are still battling scores of blazes in Victoria this Labour Day long weekend.

Thousands of firefighters are spending a second weekend battling scores of fires burning across Victoria's, while smoke hovers across the weekend.

The state's highest risk bushfire in the Bunyip State Park, east of Melbourne, has scorched about 15,000 hectares and still remains out of control.

Victorian
The fires in Bunyip State Park started after lightning strikes.
AAP

Four bushfires in the state's east merged last Saturday to form the raging blaze with has since claimed 29 homes, damaged two others and destroyed 67 outbuildings.

A watch and act remains in place on Saturday for Beenak, Gentle Annie, Tonimbuk and Tynong North due to the fire.

Smoke from the blaze will hang over some parts of the state until Sunday with an air quality warning for most areas due to the 17 active fires in the Victorian landscape.

More than 100,000 hectares of land has been burnt across the state since last Thursday, Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said.

"We cannot afford to become complacent because the whole of the state is dry at the moment," Mr Crisp told reporters from the Bunyip fire ground on Friday.

Milder weather conditions over the weekend are expected to assist firefighting efforts.

'A catastrophe'

The Insurance Council of Australia declared policy-holders impacted by the Bunyip fire will be given top priority from their insurers after declaring it a "catastrophe".

The declaration was made on Friday in consultation with the state government and Emergency Management Victoria with an 1800 734 621 disaster hotline set-up.

A CFA fire crew is seen along the Princes Highway outside of Bunyip in Victoria.
A CFA fire crew is seen along the Princes Highway outside of Bunyip in Victoria.
AAP

But the category doesn't apply to policy-holders in other areas, including in Yinnar South, in the Latrobe Valley, where two homes have also been destroyed.

Bendigo Bank with EMV have established a community relief fund to support communities in Cardinia, Wellington, Baw Baw, East Gippsland and Latrobe areas.

Donations are welcomed to help the Victorian communities impacted by fires with various activities including; clean-up, business support and counselling.

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