Parks closed as hot winds drive fire danger

Communities in the state's east are being told to stay alert as fires continue to burn ahead of hot and dangerous conditions predicted for Thursday.

Campers who planned to spend the Australia Day holiday weekend in the Alpine region are being told to change their plans in light of road closures and potentially treacherous conditions.

A fire four kilometres north-east of Harrietville, just south of Bright and Mount Beauty, reignited on Tuesday forcing the rescue by helicopter of 37 bushwalkers.

Overnight the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Parks Victoria closed national parks and state forests around Mount Feathertop and Mount Beauty because of a fire burning in the area.

The department's agency commander David Nugent said for the safety of the public the parks had been closed until further notice.

He said people who had planned to visit the area over the Australia Day long weekend needed to rearrange their travel plans.

Fire authorities expect that with the hot, dry and windy conditions this week, the fire is expected to continue to burn for some time.

The Country Fire Authority warned about 4.30am on Wednesday that the fire could have an impact on the communities of Davenport Village, Falls Creek, Hotham Heights, Harrietville and Smoko within 24 hours.

The Great Alpine Road is closed between Harrietville and Hotham Heights.

In Gippsland, where the Aberfeldy-Donnelys fire continues to burn, residents are also being told to prepare for Thursday's conditions.

The fire has burnt more than 61,000 hectares across the area.

Regional CFA controller Mike Owen said areas that could be affected by embers and the fire front included Erica, Yallourn North, Briagolong, Maffra, Heyfield and Cowwarr. Some of those communities have already faced severe fire threats this month.

"The northerly winds predicted for Thursday will put pressure on these lines and may breach the control lines and the fire may come out and impact [on] communities," Mr Owen said.

The Princes Highway between Morwell and Stratford is expected to be particularly smoky.

The story Parks closed as hot winds drive fire danger first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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