An elderly woman fled to a creek to shelter as fire bore down on her home on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula.
The Country Fire Authority now says one home has been destroyed and a second was severely damaged by the fierce bushfire at Crib Point, southeast of Melbourne, which broke out soon after 4.30pm on Monday.
A garage and two sheds were also lost as flames tore through a foreshore reserve near the HMAS Cerberus naval base.
“One lady in her late 70s jumped into a nearby creek and stayed in there to look after herself as the fire approached,” a State Control Centre spokesman told AAP.
“She got out of there and went to the beach, where the volunteer coast guard picked her up.”
The woman was unharmed, but it’s not yet clear if her house was the one destroyed by the fire, the spokesman said.
The CFA lifted an emergency warning for Crib Point but a watch and act warning is in place.
“It’s still going but we have managed to control the spread of the fire,” the SCC spokesman said.
Crib Point residents have been told that staying close to shelter is their safest option in case conditions change again.
About 130 firefighters, backed by 26 trucks, three water-bombing helicopters and a fixed-wing fire-spotting plane, are now at the scene.
The fire is burning inside a foreshore reserve.
It’s not yet clear how many hectares have been burnt, the spokesman said.
The origin of the fire is also not known.
The spokesman said it’s hoped conditions will ease during the evening, allowing crews to contain the blaze ahead of a hot day with blustery winds and a total fire ban on Tuesday.
— Alison Savage (@alisavage) January 18, 2016
This is so upsetting to watch crib point fires 😩 hope all my friends are safe x pic.twitter.com/Wzk2XGgswf
— Gemma Richardson (@GemmaAudrey1) January 18, 2016