Firefighters stretched with Victoria blazes

Firefighters work to contain a bushfire near Scotsburn, South of Ballarat in Victoria (AAP)
Firefighters work to contain a bushfire near Scotsburn, South of Ballarat in Victoria (AAP)

Victoria has imposed a complete fire ban as firefighters battle state-wide blazes that continue to threaten homes, close roads and put lives at risk.

In spite of a cool change, authorities admit they're losing the battle against at least two big blazes.

Conditions of 42degC and 80km/h winds mean at least 300 fires. Firefighters in Victoria are stretched everywhere, with a lot of the work being done from the air.

Fires burned on the outskirts of Melbourne, and at one stage yesterday led to the closure of the Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney.

At least eight buildings were destroyed by a fire near Ballarat, and around the state, homes were threatened.

In two separate incidents, three fire crews were lucky to escape when their vehicles were encircled by fire. The trapped crews activated the sprinklers over the trucks and huddled under fire-retardant blankets until the danger had passed.

Melbourne had its warmest night ever, 28.5degC, and dozens of people were taken to hospital because of the heat. Authorities continued to issue warnings throughout the day.

While it's expected to cool a little tomorrow, temperatures will be back in the high 30s later in the week.

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