Grassfire brought under control at Mount Franklin near Shepherd's Flat

UPDATE 6.05pm: Firefighters have brought a grassfire burning at Mount Franklin under control.

The CFA advises that there is currently no threat to communities, but urges residents to continue monitoring conditions.

EARLIER: A grassfire is burning out of control to the south of Bendigo.

Twenty-four crews have been called out to Mount Franklin on the Midland Highway near Shepherds Flat.

Another seven crews are fighting a secondary fire to the north.

The CFA has issued a “watch and act” alert for residents in the area.

It reads as follows:

This Watch & Act message is for Mount Franklin, Shepherds Flat.

There is a grassfire at MIDLAND HWY, MOUNT FRANKLIN that is not yet under control 

This grassfire is travelling in a north-easterly direction FROM Midland Hwy, Mount Franklin.

Don't wait, leaving now is the safest option - conditions may change and get worse very quickly. Emergency Services may not be able to help you if you decide to stay.

What you should do:

The best protection from radiant heat is distance.

Travel to:

The home of family or friends that are away from the warning area.

When you leave remember to take your pets, mobile phone and medications.

If you encounter smoke or flames whilst travelling, turn around and drive to safety. If you're unable to turn around and drive to safety, a car offers more protection from the fire’s heat than being caught on foot in the open.

Keep the roads clear so emergency services can respond.

If you are away from home do not return.

If you stay, seek shelter indoors: 

Bring your pets indoors.

Close all exterior doors, windows and vents and turn off cooling systems.

Shelter in a room that has a door and or a window to the outside so you can keep an eye on what is happening with the fire.

Impacts in your area:

Grassfires can start and spread quickly and are extremely dangerous.

This message was issued by Country Fire Authority.

The next update is expected by 17/02/2017 06:50 pm or as the situation changes.

Health information: 

If you need medical advice for burns or exposure to smoke, seek medical advice or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.

Anyone experiencing wheezing, chest tightness and difficulty breathing should call 000.

Smoke information:

Smoke can affect people's health.

People with heart or lung conditions (including asthma), children, pregnant women and older people are more sensitive to the effects of breathing in smoke.

People with existing heart or lung conditions (including asthma) should follow the treatment plan advised by the doctor.

Stay informed: 

Via www.emergency.vic.gov.au.

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

Call the VicEmergency Hotline to talk to someone about this warning on freecall 1800 226 226.

People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have a speech/communication impairment can contact VicEmergency Hotline via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.

For help with English, call the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 (freecall) and ask them to telephone VicEmergency Hotline. If you know someone who cannot speak English, provide them with this number.

Download the VicEmergency app or follow VicEmergency on Twitter (#vicfires) or Facebook.

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