Specialist Kiwi firefighters fight Vic blaze

  • 05/01/2016
Specialist Kiwi firefighters fight Vic blaze

Specialist firefighters from New Zealand have joined Victorian fire crews in the battle against a bushfire raging deep within rough terrain.

The 20 forest firefighters, who arrived yesterday, are trained to battle blazes in deep bushland.

They're among 300 personnel fighting the 2400-hectare Wye River-Jamieson Track blaze that has razed 116 homes in two coastal tourist towns.

Incident controller Alistair Drayton said firefighters were dealing with dense forest and poor visibility as they fought to control the fire before predicted warmer weather.

"[Our] control strategy is, get in as close as we can to the fire and directly attack it," he said.

Mild and humid conditions along the Victoria coast have helped firefighters build containment lines around the bushfire.

It's not currently posing a threat to local communities.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Chris Godfred says the weather will warm up over the weekend, but not too much.

"We're looking at pretty mild conditions, from low 20s on Saturday, and high 20s to early 30s on Sunday," he told AAP today.

"It will heat up somewhat, with the hottest day in the sequence looking to be Sunday."

Northern Victoria will bear the brunt of the heat, with temperatures in the high 30s to low 40s expected next week.

"Coastal areas look set to be in the low-to-mid 20s on Monday and Tuesday," Mr Godfred said.

Meanwhile, Wye River and Separation Creek residents affected by the Christmas Day bushfire have been given extra time to lodge their tax returns, and the Australian Tax Office will fast-track their refunds.

"If your business or residential address is in one of the identified affected postcodes, it will happen automatically," tax Commissioner Chris Jordan said.

NZN