Relief as northeast Vic towns avoid embers

Marnie Banger
Bright Chalet owners, the O'Sullivans, had to cancel an annual music camp for fear of ember attack

It's usually a particular noisy time to be a guest at the Bright Chalet in Victoria's northeast.

On Sunday, dozens of young musicians were due to arrive for a brass instrument camp hosted annually by owners Michael and Athalie O'Sullivan.

But after the area was evacuated ahead of last weekend and again in the last couple of days, due to the risk of embers from nearby bushfires, there was no way the camp could go ahead.

The threat to the town did not materialise on Friday night, with winds working in their favour and rain helping to keep the risk of embers at bay.

If the young musicians could see the blue sky on Saturday in Bright, Mr O'Sullivan thinks they would be wondering why on earth it was cancelled.

"But yesterday it looked like we were on the moon, with the dust and smoke," he told AAP.

The couple and their two sons - along with their sons' partners - are all brass aficionados themselves, with Michael playing the tuba and Athalie favouring the baritone horn.

They didn't evacuate Bright this weekend in order to look after firefighters staying in their chalet while they work to keep the area safe.

But last weekend when the couple hit the road, they took their much-loved and valuable instruments with them.

"Everything else you could replace - you can't replace those," Mr O'Sullivan said.

In nearby Harrietville, Bella's Cafe owner Dianne Gibbons also stuck around on Friday, despite evacuating the previous week, saying she just needed to be home.

She had prepared wheelie bins and buckets full of water and a sprinkler system in case she needed to fight embers, but the sound of rain on Friday came as a sweet relief.

"There was enough rain to know that this thing wasn't going anywhere any time soon," she said.

Her phone was dinging on Saturday with messages from friends who had evacuated and wanted to know if the coast was clear for coming home.

Despite Friday night's threats not materialising in the town, Swanny at the nearby Harrietville Bakery is wary that the fire season has only just begun.

"There's still plenty of fires to come, and these ones, because they're remote, they will just keep ticking along."