Heeding advice to leave a bushfire threat is harder for some than others.
For wildlife rescuer Lisa Milligan, who lives near Kilmore where the fire has threatened homes for three days, the thought of leaving her animals behind is unbearable.
"It's not my house, my house I couldn't care, it's just my animals," she said. "I don't think I can go anywhere else and just sit and think that hopefully it misses us and my animals are OK. I just couldn't do it."
Her centre helps injured and orphaned wildlife, and was set up as a response to the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009.
Ms Milligan looks after 40 animals, including cats, dogs, possums, horses, cows, wombats and kangaroos.
"I can't evacuate all my animals - I've got horses, cows, sheep, my big roos," she said.
"Some of those kangaroos, actually, I have raised from pinkies that are nearly close to release. I can't let them down."
After three days of fires, which have come within two kilometres of her home, Ms Milligan is exhausted and says that despite a downgrade in the emergency, they still need to be vigilant.
"At the moment we're safe, but if the wind changes to a northerly wind then we're in danger again and high risk," she said.
The massive bushfire threatening communities on Melbourne's northern fringe started in Mickleham on Sunday and has burnt 23,000 hectares and destroyed homes.
An emergency warning was downgraded to a watch-and-act alert on Tuesday, but residents know things can change quickly and the blaze will take days to control.
Vyvienne Whitehurst, who also lives in Kilmore, said she was relieved on Tuesday to see her seven horses.
"I haven't seen them for three days, and I didn't know if they were alive or dead," she said.
Ms Whitehurst said like many residents she was tired, but coping.
"I am walking around with matchsticks under my eyes at the moment," she said.
"We are coping. You have got to - you don't have a choice."