Victorian residents ignored warnings to evacuate as bushfires approached on Black Saturday, a court has heard.
Assistant Commissioner Steve Fontana has told a Victorian Supreme Court class action between bushfire victims and SPI Electricity of his actions as the fires raged across the state in February, 2009.
Mr Fontana said Assistant Commissioner Bob Hastings, who was in charge of operations near the Kilmore East fire, told him that police requests for people to evacuate their homes had been ignored.
"Police had gone out into the community and asked people to leave and they then refused to leave," Mr Fontana told the court on Thursday.
"Then later they would have to go back and deal with it when people had died."
The class action, led by Victorian woman Carol Matthews, is claiming SPI was negligent in failing to maintain the power lines that sparked the fire.
Class action members are also suing the CFA, police and the Department of Sustainability and Environment over their failure to warn communities.
The hearing continues.