Malmsbury fire: Homes, prison threatened

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UPDATE: The Malmsbury fire is now listed as controlled, but a warning is still in place. 

Warnings have been downgraded to "Watch and Act".

The fire has also been downgraded from large to medium. 

EARLIER: HOMES are under threat by a fire at Malmsbury.

The CFA has issued an emergency warning due to a “fast moving, out-of-control grassfire” on the south-east side of the town near the Calder Freeway.

The fire is travelling towards Malmsbury East Road and is threatening properties on Degraves Mill Road.

The Calder Freeway has been closed.

The township and the Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre are under threat.

A Department of Human Services media spokesman said the centre would not be evacuated. 

"These sorts of situations are well prepared for and well planned for," he said. 

"We have a fire defence system at the centre, with 1 million litres of water ready to be deployed in cases of emergencies.

"There will be no evacuation because that is not our policy."

He said he was unsure whether the centre was under immediate threat. 

A Malmsbury Primary School employee said the school was going into lockdown, but did not comment further. 

A CFA state control centre spokeswoman said brigades from around the region were attending the fire. 

She said a trike team had also been called in. 

"We've got information that the eastern flank is burning but it has not crossed over the Calder," she said. 

"My understanding is the Calder has been closed. 

"Aircraft have also been dispatched automatically."

The spokeswoman said the blaze was about 60 hectares and said there was no indication what started it.

"It's critical people in Malmsbury and nearby towns pay attention to this and enact their bushfire survival plans," she said. 

"They should also alert friends and neighbours." 

The warning calls for people to close all doors, windows and turn off all cooling.

People are urged to shelter in a room that has a door or window to the outside and to keep an eye on the fire.

“If you cannot get indoors, other last resort option include a large open area like a ploughed paddock, football oval or sporting reserve, large body of water like a dam, lake, river, the ocean or inground pool,”  the warning reads.

Residents are urged to protect themselves from the fire’s heat.

For further information visit or

-Tune to ABC Local Radio, commercial and designated community radio stations or Sky News TV

-Call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on freecall 1800 240 667. Deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment can contact the line via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.

-Download the FireReady App and follow CFA on Twitter or Facebook

For information on road closures visit the VicRoads website

Road Closures: check VicRoads website.

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