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Fires still blaze across Vic's southwest

More than 700 firefighters will tackle bush and grass blazes in Victoria's southwest in an attempt to bring them under control after homes and farm buildings were destroyed over the weekend.

Incident controller in Warrnambool Russell Manning said the aim for his team on Monday was to bring the eastern edge of the fires under control with six fire bombing apparatus and two helicopters to help.

He said a team of 16 vets would also work in the area to assist animals.

The Colac Incident Control Centre will keep tackling the fires from Terang, Garvoc to Camperdown with more than 400 personnel helping and 47 vehicles due to respond.

About a dozen homes have been destroyed by fires across the state and hundreds of beef and dairy cattle killed, with about 40,000 hectares burnt out.

Farm buildings have also been ruined with some of the hardest hit areas including Cobden and Terang to Camperdown.

It comes after 800 people sought seek shelter at relief centres with many still there on Monday.

Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley told reporters on Sunday not all of the homes destroyed were occupied, and there had been no deaths or major injuries reported.

The state government will provide immediate personal hardship payments, worth about $1900 per household, to use for food, clothing and shelter with assessment for further support.

Police and fire investigators are yet to determine the causes of the fire but authorities say it's likely to be due to lightning strikes.

The major grass and bushfires began on Saturday, raged through the night and continued to burn on Sunday into Monday.

Homeowners with insurance caught in the fires will be given priority for their claims after the Insurance Council of Australia declared the fires a catastrophe on Sunday night.

Another out-of-control fire is still raging just over the New South Wales border with Reedy Swamp and Bega issued an emergency warning on Sunday.


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