The fire emergency facing Victorian's Grampians region is over and the tourist village of Halls Gap has escaped unscathed.
The town was ravaged by fires in 2006 and has in the past been hit with floods, droughts and landslides.
"We still can't celebrate because the mountain range is devastated again," said Paul Antonio of the local Brambuk Backpackers and Aboriginal cultural centre.
"I think they were spending flood funding up to this point, so now they'll have to get some funding for fire damage, I suppose."
Tourists and residents of the village and surrounding towns were evacuated as fire burned in the northern area of the Grampians National Park on Friday, although some people chose to stay to defend their homes.
The 51,000-hectare blaze claimed one life, four homes, several sheds, many kilometres of fencing and affected up to 7500 sheep, most of which will have to be put down.
The main threat had passed by Saturday afternoon and an emergency warning for Halls Gap and Grampians Junction was downgraded to a watch and act alert.
The blaze is not yet under control.
Authorities say fire came within two kilometres of Halls Gap but an earlier-than-expected wind change saved the village.
Residents were being allowed back on Saturday afternoon.
Mr Antonio said Halls Gap became dark and still as an orange glow hovered over the mountains on Friday afternoon.
"It was just a ghost town with parks people driving tankers around and a couple of CFA people, that was it," he said.
The evacuation order was the first issued since evacuation policy came in after the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.
Terry May and his wife decided to stay to defend their farm in the small town of Pomonal.
They moved their 4000 sheep, isolated machinery, hosed down the house and placed water tanks across their 800-hectare farm at Pomonal as the Grampians fire came towards them.
"We were in the 2006 fires, so we knew exactly what to expect with the smoke, the dust conditions, the lack of light, the preparations for around the house and the farm," Mr May told AAP on Saturday.
By about 1pm Friday, a haze of dark smoke cloaked the sky but a sudden wind change saved the day.
"As soon as that happened, the danger period elapsed," Mr May said.
Grampians incident controller John Haynes said some homes were lost in the small town of Brimpaen, while two properties near Dadswells Bridge were affected.
The Grampians fire also caused building damage at the Troopers Creek Tavern and the Happy Wanderers Holiday Resort at Wartook.
A woman's body was found at her Roses Gap property on Friday morning, although authorities say she died as a result of a medical issue.
The Grampians fire complex was so intense on Friday it created a 12-kilometre-wide convection column, generating its own weather and lightning strikes and sparking smaller spot fires.
About 500 people have been at relief centres at Horsham, Stawell and Ararat in recent days.