Fire threat continues for Victoria residents

Emergency services workers are seen at Separation Creek in the Otway Ranges south of Melbourne (AAP)
Emergency services workers are seen at Separation Creek in the Otway Ranges south of Melbourne (AAP)

The bushfire threat for large parts of Victoria is far from over.

The weather bureau is forecasting extreme temperatures across the state again on New Year's Eve.

Now 116 homes have been destroyed and families have started to inspect the devastating damage.

There's nothing to salvage of the house resident Jules Allen grew up in. Her family home of 40 years reduced to ash and rubble.

It was claimed, in minutes, by the Christmas Day blaze.

"It was the most surreal experience," she says. "There is still a part of me that is processing that. If there wasn't tin it would have just been dust. There was nothing, absolutely nothing."

Her home is one of 98 destroyed in Wye River.

She was at her mum's for Christmas lunch when it happened. She's grateful, relieved, her neighbours made it out safely.

"A mixture of intense sadness and intense gratitude – I'm not looking at my neighbours' houses where we've lost lives; there's not lives lost. It makes an incredible difference, a huge difference."

With a wry smile she said a small bonus was the new sea view.

She was one of few residents allowed back in to view the damage. It's simply too dangerous to let everyone into the fire zone. It could be days, even weeks, before they get the go-ahead.

Two firefighters and two crews lost their homes. Their captain had to break the news.

The damage bill is already nearly AU$30 million, and the loss in revenue to local businesses is around AU$40 million.

Now another blow for the state – fire authorities are warning the bushfires could flare up again when extreme temperatures hit on New Year's Eve, and it could take all summer to put the fires out.

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