Visitors have been warned to leave Victoria’s popular Grampians National Park with two out-of-control bushfires threatening rural communities around its northwest entrance.
Lightning sparked fires at the north and south ends of the park overnight Wednesday and an emergency warning has now been issued for areas at its northwest.
A telephone alert has been sent to visitors in the park telling them to leave.
The emergency warning applies to Roses Gap, Heathvale, Laharum, Zumsteins and Wartook.
Wartook and Laharum could be affected at any time by the two bushfires travelling south from the Pohlners Road area towards the Wartook Valley, the emergency warning says.
The fires are creating spot fires and ember attacks across Roses Gap Road.
The Wartook Valley is the major entrance to the park on the northwest side.
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Farmers have been advised to consider moving their stock to safer areas with reduced fuel loads, water and food.
A number of fires started overnight in the Grampians and they have been burning deep into the national park, a popular tourist area during the summer.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the Grampians fire had increased in intensity and would likely burn out of control until Friday.
“That will be a going fire on Friday when the temperatures are high and the wind speeds from the southwest will be at their height,” he told reporters.
“That’s a fire that has significant potential.”