Bushfire fears are diminishing in Victoria, as a cool change slowly creeps across the state.
Victorian authorities had been bracing for the harshest conditions of the bushfire season on Monday, with total fire bans declared in six districts.
But a weather front has sped up and hit Melbourne early on Monday afternoon, dropping temperatures by more than 10C in an hour.
The mercury has also fallen considerably in Victoria's southwest and other central areas near the city, including Laverton where it dropped from 41.5C at 12.40pm to 25C at 3.40pm.
The Bureau of Meteorology said the cool change would slowly penetrate inland, with Victoria's northeast not expected to feel relief from scorching heatwave temperatures until Tuesday morning.
A grass fire at Yarroweyah, 10km west of Cobram, on the Victorian/NSW border is the only active bushfire in the state as of Monday afternoon.
An active La Nina weather pattern has so far made for a largely soggy summer devoid of major bushfires in Victoria.
But Monday's heatwave conditions and the forecast afternoon change had fire crews on high alert.
"The next 24 hours we'll see the most significant fire risk posed to this state so far this season," Country Fire Authority chief officer Jason Heffernan told reporters on Sunday.
Forest Fire Management Victoria's Chris Hardman said a record number of residents were exploring the state after spending most of 2020 stuck in lockdown.
However, he said many had little experience in bushland environments and needed to be wary not to inadvertently spark a blaze.
"It's really important that if you're a visitor to these areas you do not put people at risk by behaving in an inappropriate way," Mr Hardman said.
"Ten per cent of all of our bushfires come from unattended campfires. Don't think just because it's a small fire by your campsite, it's OK. It's not OK."
Australian Associated Press