A CAMPFIRE has been found to be the cause of an extensive grass fire in Metcalfe on Sunday.
Twenty trucks and three aircraft were called in to fight the blaze at 6pm yesterday, which ripped through 80 hectares of paddocks.
One hundred and seventy properties were issued with an emergency alert text message, warning that their bushfire survival plan may need to be activated.
Units were still on site yesterday to make sure there were no hot spots.
Castlemaine police’s Senior Constable Grant Kendall said the campfire was lit illegally because fire restrictions were in place in the region.
“The campfire wasn’t complying with restrictions and unfortunately embers got out and took hold,” he said.
“These people were unaware they were in a restriction period.”
He said police were still preparing a brief and he was unsure if the people would be charged for the incident.
Senior Constable Kendall said the owner of the property was “quite gutted” by the fire, but there was no damage to property or life.
He said people should check with the CFA if they were unsure of what was and was not allowed during fire restrictions.
“Jump on the website or contact the CFA if you are unsure about whether to hold a barbecue or a campfire,” he said.