A GRASS fire has broken out in Heathcote, north of Melbourne, as temperatures push towards 40 degrees across the state.
The fast-moving fire, in Stephenson Street, is abut one hectares in size and is being controlled although it is still causing spot-fires up to one kilometre around it.
The Country Fire Authority originally asked residents to evacuate when the fire broke out at 3.40pm but that warning has been downgraded to general advice.
The fire is currently restricted to the south west side of town although an expected wind change later today could push the fire in a different direction.
The fire is one of several grass fires to have occurred today as sweltering temperatures reach 37 degrees in Melbourne.
The Bureau of Meteorology duty forecaster Geoff Feren said a cool change would break through by early evening, including the chance of some strong winds.
‘‘The change is already going though the bay and the temperature is starting to drop. Geelong is now 21 degrees, so it will drop to mid twenties [in Melbourne] very quickly.’’
He said Melbourne had experienced quite a hot end to spring but that there was nothing out of the ordinary with the sudden spike in temperature since yesterday.
The forecast for tomorrow is 20 degrees with the chance of rain in the morning. The relief will only be temporary, with temperatures becoming hot once again on Thursday, topping at 34 degrees.