Bushfires Downgraded After 115 Fires Broke Out Across Victoria

23/02/2016 8:10 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
Fairfax: Simon O'Dwyer

As the temperature soared to almost 39 degrees in Melbourne on Tuesday, more than 115 fires broke out across Victoria, the two largest being near Ballarat and Somerville.

Both bushfires have been downgraded to Watch and Acts by the Country Fire Authority, with community meetings being held on Tuesday night to give locals more information about the impact and cause of the fires.

“We haven’t seen any lightning, that means it’s gotta be the human factor,” Emergency Management Commissioner of Victoria Craig Lapsley told The Herald Sun.

“Whether that’s a vehicle, a human hand or a mistake.”

The CFA issued an emergency warning for Mount Bolton in Addington -- north of Ballarat -- on Tuesday afternoon, telling residents it was too late to leave.

Less than one hour later another emergency warning was issued for Somerville, near Frankston in Melbourne's south.

The Somerville grassfire was burning on both sides of the Frankston-Flinders road, near the Somerville train station, reported Fairfax, with the road eventually being closed by emergency services.

Brett Boatman, the CFA's incident controller near Ballarat told Fairfax Media on Tuesday afternoon more than 60 fire trucks and eight aircraft were attempting to control the blaze at Mt Bolton, as spotfires and ember attacks began more than one kilometre ahead of the main grassfire.

Victorian Emergency Management Commissioner Lapsley told media in a press conference on Tuesday afternoon 1300 hectares of scrub has been affected.

Late on Tuesday afternoon a construction crane caught fire on St Kilda Road in the Melbourne suburb of Prahan, eventually collapsing. St Kilda Road and Moubray Street were closed on Tuesday night but emergency services said there was no threat to the community.

Community meetings are being held at 7:30pm in Somerville and 8pm in Mount Bolton.

Here's how the bushfires unfolded on social media:

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