After burning out-of-control for five days, a bushfire in Victoria’s Gippsland region has been contained but authorities expect it to burn for another fortnight.
Crews both in the air and on the ground have successfully stopped the spread of the bushfire south of Rosedale, the Country Fire Authority confirmed on Tuesday.
A contingent of 260 firefighters has been bolstered by reinforcements from western Victoria and will now concentrate on managing an 83km perimeter still actively burning.
“The fire is not yet under control and there is still potential for it to flare up in windy conditions and will continue to create smoke,” the CFA said in a statement.
CFA spokeswoman Tammy Garrett told AAP the fire could take up to two weeks to be fully extinguished.
“We believe it could be a couple of weeks before the fire is fully extinguished because of the terrain. An 80km perimeter is a fair distance to manage,” she said.
A severe thunderstorm warning for the area for Tuesday night may also impact efforts, Ms Garrett added.
“While the fire is contained there is still active fire within the perimeter.
“We are urging the community to be vigilant and continue to stay informed and monitor conditions.”
The bushfire, about six kilometres south of Rosedale, has burnt more than 12,000 hectares including pine plantations, forests and fences since it began on Friday when temperatures soared above 40C.
Over five days the threat from the fire has fluctuated, with residents in a nearby town warned they were in imminent danger on Monday.
Late on Tuesday the fire was at an advice alert level.
Crews have worked around the clock to suppress the blaze, with a world-first deployment of night firebombing operations.
The CFA warns the bushfire is generating significant smoke, which could affect people suffering respiratory problems as well as the young and elderly.
Air quality monitors have been set up in nearby Sale and Longford to provide residents with up-to-date information.
Arson experts are yet to determine if the fire was deliberately lit or caused by lightning strikes.