The Devastation Of Victoria's Bushfires In Pictures
As the fire threat eased marginally on Monday helped by cooler temperatures, a shift in winds and the possibility of rain, resident Darren Laing recounted a nervous couple of days standing guard at his Jeeralang Junction property, about 170km southeast of Melbourne.
A ridge in the nearby national park glowed bright with fire, posing an imminent threat, and smoke hung thick in the air.
Because of his experience a decade ago with the Black Saturday bushfires, Laing knew what to do.
When alerted to the fire in the Morwell National Park on Saturday, he left work early, packed his partner Laura and their three children in the car and sent them to his mum's house for the night.
Armed with tanks of water and a fire pump, Laing and a neighbour were ready for a battle.
"The ridge across us was glowing bright red and that's all I could see," Laing told AAP.
"It was a pretty sleepless night on Saturday."
By Sunday morning the fire had destroyed two homes.
After a stressful weekend, Laing and his family spent Monday at home keeping an eye on the situation - his children's primary school and childcare centre both closed because of the fire risk.
The threat of the blaze known as the Yinnar South fire was downgraded on Monday.
But elsewhere the risk escalated. Blazes further east at Dargo were classified as an emergency and residents in 17 localities were told it's too late to leave.
"The bushfire closest to Dargo has travelled south past the township. The Dargo Road has not yet been impacted, however spot fires have been identified to the east of the road," the alert reads.
"The two other fires northwest of Dargo are currently merging which will form one large fire."
In addition to the two houses, at least seven other structures have been razed across the state, keeping busy some 2000 firefighters.
The Bunyip fire is the largest. It's about 65km east of Melbourne, was sparked by lightning strikes on Friday and has destroyed more than 10,000 hectares.
Alerts also remain in place for areas further northeast, including at Licola.
East Gippsland is among parts of the state forecast to be hit by severe thunderstorms later on Monday, bringing damaging winds and heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding.
Dry lightning in some areas could pose a further threat of fire.
"There's still some instability across a lot of northern and eastern Victoria," the Bureau of Meteorology's Michael Efron said.
A cold front will work its way across from the southwest of the state on Tuesday and Wednesday, bringing strong winds, possible showers and even potential snow flurries to alpine areas.