Remains of a burnt-out property that was impacted by a blaze in late December is seen at Bruthen South, Victoria, Saturday, January 4, 2019. (AAP Image/James Ross)
A fire in Victoria's alpine region flared overnight, prompting an emergency alert which has since been downgraded, but fire crews are bracing for new days of heat.
An emergency warning for Bobinawarrah, Carboor, Kneebones Gap, Whorouly, Whorouly East and Whorouly South, all south of Wangaratta was downgraded to a watch and act on Thursday morning, after a spike in fire activity overnight.
It was the first emergency warning in Victoria's fire-ravaged east in days.
The Bureau of Meteorology on Wednesday issued an extreme fire danger warning for the north of the state on Friday, with a severe warning for the Mallee and northeast districts.
Temperatures nearing 40C are also forecast in some areas on Friday, along with northerly winds, ahead of a change in the afternoon.
Victorians are being told to heed "life or death" warnings as extreme fire danger returns to fire-affected regions on Friday, following calm and mild weather conditions on Thursday.
Authorities are urging people to brace for danger.
"The safest place to be is outside those fire-affected areas and in built-up areas," Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville told reporters on Wednesday.
There are 23 active fires and more than 1.2 million hectares burnt across Victoria, isolating towns and destroying hundreds of properties.
Three people have died in the fires, with the third victim confirmed on Wednesday.
Forest Fires Management worker Mat Kavanagh, 43, died when his vehicle crashed on the Goulburn Valley Highway on January 3.
The fires have prompted an outpouring of generosity from the public and celebrities, with millions of dollars being raised for the relief effort.
Pop star Lizzo on Wednesday found time in her tour schedule to pack hampers for Australian bushfire victims at Foodbank ahead of her sold-out show that night in Melbourne.
The blazes have also created an inferno of political angst.
Authorities have urged organisers of a climate protest planned for Melbourne's CBD on Friday night to postpone, call it off, or restrict it to one area.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Tim Hansen claimed it was bad timing for a protest because it would stretch police resources when fire conditions are likely to worsen.
But protest organisers, Uni Students for Climate Justice, on Wednesday doubled down on their planned protest, claiming "huge support for a demonstration to put pressure on the government and fight for climate justice".
More than 4000 people were originally stuck in Mallacoota after fire threats caught the coastal holiday town by surprise last week.
After days of military support, everyone who asked to be rescued from the town was brought out on Wednesday, the State Control Centre said on Thursday.
Military helicopters have also been delivering supplied of satellite phones, food, water and diesel for generators to isolated towns including Mallacoota and Genoa.
© AAP 2020