Town saved from fire threat

Last updated 14:51 04/02/2014

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Fire crews and waterbombing aircraft have "hit hard and fast" to contain a 15-hectare fire that threatened a Victorian town.

The CFA issued an emergency warning for the central Victorian town of Malmsbury at 10.20am (AEDT) on Tuesday as an out-of-control grassfire threatened the town.

The fast-moving fire threatened properties on Degraves Mill Road and the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre, which went into lockdown.

Fire crews contained the blaze by about 11.20am, stopping its spread towards the town.

"A real case of hit it hard, hit it fast, we just had a really large number of trucks there really quickly," a State Control Centre spokeswoman said.

Crews will remain on scene blacking out and patrolling for some time, the CFA said.

Northbound lanes of the Calder Freeway had reopened, but southbound lanes remained closed.

Overnight lightning sparked seven fires in the Gippsland area.

The fires were not posing a threat to property.

"Some of these are in really remote areas where there are absolutely no townships nearby at all and where there is no access by vehicles, by trucks, at all," the spokeswoman said.

"They are in public land, they are not on private land, so a lot of them are going to be in really incredibly hard to reach terrain."

As the clean-up continues from the massive Grampians fire, the state government has announced information, support and free mentoring will be available to small business operators affected by the fire.

The Victorian government's Mobile Business Centre will visit Stawell and Halls Gap on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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