Fire threatening homes in Melbourne's north

Fire threatening homes in Melbourne's north

Fire threatening homes in Melbourne's north

Updated 19 February 2013, 1:57 AEST

One home has been destroyed and another has been damaged as a 1,600 hectare grass fire burns in Melbourne's outer-north.

One home has been destroyed and another has been damaged as a 1,600 hectare grass fire burns in Melbourne's outer-north.

The threat has been downgraded to an advice for the blaze in the Epping and Campbellfield area.

Three firefighters have been assessed for smoke inhalation as the fire moves in a southerly direction, affecting areas in Craigieburn, Wollert and Epping.

An expected south-westerly wind change overnight may put homes in areas of Epping North in its path, but firefighters say the blaze is being controlled.

The CFA says one house and several sheds have been destroyed and another home damaged.

On Monday, the Northern Hospital at Epping evacuated a childcare centre on its grounds and shoppers at the Epping Plaza were asked to stay indoors.

One local resident told the ABC he and his family left Epping North.

"We started packing the car and went outside and realised that everyone was starting to do a similar thing," he said.

"The smoke's really heavy. You can really see the smoke from where our house is.

"I can see it now from my rear view mirror and the road here is just ridiculously packed. There are fire trucks rushing past us and police vehicles and the like."

Grampians fire

Meanwhile, three bushfires in the southern Grampians in Victoria's west have linked up.

The fire has burned through 6,000 hectares and is out of control.

It has reached the Victoria Valley Road and is spotting fires up to 1 kilometre ahead.

Incident controller Russell Manning said on Monday that nine properties could be threatened.

"We've got a southerly wind that will push that fire in a north-westerly direction," he said.

"There's a number of residents that are between where the fire currently is and the edge of the National Park but we've got a lot of CFA units, graders and bulldozers that will protect those properties.

"There's 300 firefighters, DSE, Parks Victoria and lots of CFA units all over the Victoria Valley.

"We have units at every residence and house and been talking to people there."

Mr Manning says two smaller fires combined with the largest blaze on Jensens Road.

"We've actually amalgamated, there was three fires there, the Jensens Road fire, the Clutterbuck fire and then we had another fire there - Burnhut Creek which actually this morning was running really solidly to the south and burnt into the back of the Clutterbucks Road fire," he said.

About 200 firefighters and water-bombing aircraft are being used to fight the blaze in steep, rocky terrain.

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