Elderly Victorians moved over toxic smoke


More than 50 aged care residents in Victoria's southwest have been relocated over concerns about toxic smoke following bushfires.

Relief centres have also been established at Terang and Cobden, and residents are encouraged to check in with health authorities over the smoke from peat fires expected to burn for weeks.

The relocation of aged care residents from Cobden came as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull visited the town on Sunday one week after bush and grass fires destroyed 26 homes, 63 sheds and thousands of livestock.

"Nature throws her worst at us time and time again - fires, floods and it brings out the solidarity, the love the community spirit, the resilience of Australians again and again," Mr Turnbull told reporters after seeing some of the damage.

"People looked after themselves and looked after their neighbours, knocked on doors, made sure that people were home, that they got out and confirmed that houses they thought were empty, were empty.

"Nature flings her worst at Australians but it always brings out the best in Australians."

More than 160 fires broke out last weekend as strong winds and unusually warm autumn weather swept the state.

Falling or clashing powerlines sparked four of the blazes at Gazette, Terang, Garvoc and Gnotuk.

Advice messages remain in place for those fires, and for areas around Cobden and Camperdown.

Damaging winds were forecast to cross southern Victoria into Monday morning ahead of a cold front, with crews and water-bombing aircraft on stand-by in case of fire flare ups.

Fire, health and air-monitoring authorities urged residents affected by smoke from the peat fires to seek medical attention.