Orange-red dust cloud blankets Vic town

Christine McGinn

A thick haze of orange, earth-red dust has blanketed a regional town in Victoria.

High winds in Mildura, in the state's northwest, caused the dust storm on Thursday as the temperature soared to 40C.

A code red fire warning is in place across the state, meaning residents have to be ready for the worst bushfire conditions.

"The sky is literally brown, the dust in the air is just so thick. The sky is now deep orange. And the wind is harsh," a resident, who wanted to be known only as Leonie, told AAP.

"It is just atrocious. This dust, we have had it so often and it is becoming a norm for us."

The mother, who is at work at a newsagency, said the store was "full of dust" and she was having some trouble breathing because she has asthma.

A video posted online showed a thick orange and red cloud blanketing Mildura.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Tom Delamotte said the dust storm was to be expected given a "very dry year through the northern part of the Mallee".

"So anytime that we have had windy conditions over the past month or two they have seen dust storms, and given that today is very windy we are seeing quite a lot of dust picked up in the air," he said.

"It's that brown, orange kind of dust up there and that is why the sky has that tinge to it. It is like fog, that dust is so thick."

Visibility at the Mildura Airport is down to 300m, Mr Delamotte added.