Homes destroyed by raging grass fires

At least two homes have been destroyed by an out-of-control grass fire and many more are under threat in Chepstowe, near Ballarat.

More than 120 firefighters have been sent to the area to help local crews tackle the 1000 hectare blaze.

The CFA says the fire could put lives and more homes at risk, and people should put their bushfire survival plans into action.

At least two homes destroyed by out-of-control grass fire in Chepstowe, near Ballarat. Photo: 7News
At least two homes destroyed by out-of-control grass fire in Chepstowe, near Ballarat. Photo: 7News

Meanwhile, a large bushfire in Victoria's southwest is expected to continue burning out of control through Wednesday as the state positions firefighters near the border to help NSW in its fire battle.

A blaze at Kentbruck has burnt though 9000 hectares, and a westerly wind has forced the fire back on itself.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said southwesterly winds were expected later on Tuesday, which would push the blaze towards the Princes Highway close to Dartmoor.

The fire was not expected to hit Dartmoor directly, but the town was on the highest alert, he said.

"We don't believe this fire will be controlled today. This will reach into tomorrow due to the conditions in southwestern Victoria," Mr Lapsley told reporters.

He said northeastern Victoria was experiencing wind speeds of up to 60km/h and temperatures reaching the low 40s.

"It is serious fire weather in northern Victoria, it is very serious fire weather in southern NSW.

"Fires that do start will run hard, fast and be very difficult to control," he said.

He said Victorian fire crews would be positioned at Wodonga and Wangaratta to help respond to fires in southern NSW if required as well as blazes in northeastern Victoria, including Corryong.

Victorian fire crews were also expected to help fight a growing blaze between Cooma and Bega in NSW.

Mr Lapsley said the 64 Victorian firefighters who went to Tasmania on Sunday would return on Thursday and be replaced with a fresh contingent on Friday.

He said a small fire at Sunbury on the Calder Highway had been controlled by 30 fire crews.

An emergency alert was sent to 1400 people in the area, in Melbourne's northwest, via mobile phones and landlines.

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