Click here for the latest updates and warnings throughout the night.
8.25PM: The CFA has issued an updated emergency warning warning Hotham and Dinner Plain residents that telephones may be down.
The CFA recommends residents and visitors do not rely on one communication source. It is important that friends and relatives also know to expect telephone disruption in fire affected areas.
Full warning details below.
7.50PM: Three aircraft are now water-bombing the Harrietville-Feathertop fire that has prompted an emergency warning for Mount Hotham, Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain.
The CFA has told ABC radio "it's looking a bit better now", although the emergency warning remains in place.
No property damage has been reported.
The Bureau of Meteorology expects a cool wind change to come between 9pm and 10pm, which would likely help firefighters contain the bushfire.
It is hoped rain that has lashed Melbourne and other parts of southern Victoria will move north, although it's not expected.
The Great Alpine Road is closed between Harrietville and Dinner Plain. The Dargo High Plains Road is closed between High Plains and Dargo.
7.25PM: Wind has calmed at Mount Hotham, allowing to aircraft to resume water bombing.
Aircraft were early grounded due to strong winds created by the fire.
5.40PM: Aircraft have had to be grounded in the fire fight at Hotham.
Duty Officer for CFA District 24 Adrian Gutsche said high winds made it unsafe to fight the blaze from the sky (click through above photos to see wind system).
"It's not looking very pretty," Mr Gutsche said. "It's basically on the doorstep of Mount Hotham."
Mr Gutsche said the fire had "cut" the Great Alpine Road.
5.06PM: Mount Hotham workers have turned on snow-making guns in anticipation of the Harrietville fire, which is bearing down on the village.
4.32PM: The Harrietville fire has flared up and there is now an emergency warning for Mount Hotham, Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain.
The Great Alpine Road is closed near the King's Spur track, close to Hotham village.
The Border Mail understands workers at Hotham are preparing to leave in a convoy ahead of the fire.
MT HOTHAM, HOTHAM HEIGHTS and DINNER PLAIN emergency warning
- There is a large, fast moving bushfire in the Mount Hotham, Hotham Heights and Dinner Plain area. It is traveling in a south easterly direction. Spot fires are already impacting on Hotham Heights Village.
- This bushfire is approximately 5000 hectares in size and is out of control, currently creating spot-fires approximately 0.5 km/s ahead.
- Relocation is not advisable.
- The Great Alpine Road is closed between Harrietville and Dinner Plain. The Dargo High Plains Road is closed between High Plains and Dargo.
- Telephone lines may be compromised during this emergency and we recommend that you do not rely on one communication source. It is important that friends and relatives also know to expect telephone disruption in fire affected areas.
What to do:
- Act immediately- you are in danger. There is a risk to lives and homes.
- Homes are not designed or constructed to withstand fire in these conditions.
- Consider shelter options close by. This may include a private bunker (that meets current regulations).
- Last resort options include a stationary car in a cleared area, a ploughed paddock or reserve or body of water like a swimming pool or dam.
- If you cannot leave the area take shelter when the fire arrives - protect yourself from the fire’s heat.
- If you are away from home; do not return.
- If time permits, check your neighbours to see if they are monitoring conditions.
- If you are experiencing any symptoms that may be due to smoke exposure, the Department of Health advises people to seek medical advice or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.
For General Bushfire Information...
Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on freecall 1800 240 667 or www.cfa.vic.gov.au.
ABC Local Radio, commercial and designated community radio stations or watching Sky News TV.
Deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment can contact VBIL via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.
Road closures: Check www.vicroads.vic.gov.au.
Tourists: Stay away from the listed areas.
For life or property threatening emergencies: Call 000