Home owners risk lives to save properties from fires

HOME owners across Victoria were risking their lives to defend their properties on Friday night as extreme heat and lightning strikes continued to fuel fires across the state.

In the Grampians, where one man was killed at Roses Gap on Friday morning, hundreds more were under direct threat from the 21,000ha bushfire edging the holiday town of Halls Gap and surrounding towns.

An evacuation order had been issued for nine towns by Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsey confirmed many property owners had chosen to stay and defend.

He told the Herald Sun he expected loss op property and perhaps, loss of life.

Of the 68 fires burning out of control across Victoria on Friday night, 12 were believed to have been deliberately.

The biggest fire near Trafalgar in the Gippsland region, was expected to burn through half a million hectares of land by Saturday morning.

Watch and act warnings remained in place for Westbury, Black Range and Glenorchy.

Temperatures across Victoria were expected to stay above 40degrees for most of Saturday before a cool change moved through in the evening.

A total fire ban remained in place.

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