A bushfire in the Australian town of Aberfeldy flared up on Friday (January 18), threatening a number of towns, local media said.
Several homes have been lost in the fire, which now covers an area of 25,000 hectares in Victoria's south east, local media reported.
Television pictures showed residents leaving their homes.
The fire in Aberfeldy started on Thursday (January 17) but authorities had not expected it to hit homes.
Firefighters were also battling numerous of other bushfires around southern and eastern Australia.
Australia, the world's driest inhabited continent, is particularly vulnerable to bushfires, fuelled each summer by extreme heat and by what scientists say is creeping climate shift blamed for hotter average temperatures globally.
Authorities warned earlier in the Australian summer that much of the country faced extreme fire conditions this season, after several years of cooler conditions that had aided forest growth, but also created tinder dry fire fuel conditions.