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    Ash and smoke close in on Ararat from the Grampians bushfires.

Two Grampians National Park bushfires spark emergency warnings

Two bushfires in the Grampians National Park remain out of control, prompting emergency warnings to several communities.

Many residents near Pomonal, Dadswells Bridge and surrounding areas are being advised it’s too late to leave their properties.

Authorities issued a catastrophic fire warning for the Wimmera today, with a Total Fire Ban declaration for the Wimmera, Mallee, Northern Country, Central, South West and North Central fire weather districts.

A bushfire, which started this morning south-east of Mt Stapylton, within the Grampians National Park, sparked an emergency warning at 3.45pm for Dadswells Bridge, Ledcourt and Roses Gap, with advice that it was too late to leave and for those communities to shelter.

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Authorities closed the Western Highway between Horsham and Warracknabeal-Stawell Road intersection.

Late today, the fire had crossed the highway and had impacted parts of Dadswells Bridge, and was threatening homes.

A separate bushfire at Terraces Fire Line, east of Lake Bellfield, also prompted an emergency warning earlier this afternoon for Bellfield Settlement, Halls Gap, Pomonal, Bellfield, and Lake Fyans.

At about 3.30pm, after a wind change, an emergency warning, with advice that it was too late for people to leave, was issued for Bellfield, Lake Fyans and Pomonal, with the fire travelling towards Pomonal. A separate watch and act warning was then issued for Jallukar, Lake Fyans and Pomonal.

The bushfire is travelling in an easterly direction and is now impacting private land on the edge of the national park.

There is also a watch and act warning for the area east of Mt William Creek, including east of the Pomonal township, Mokepilly, Bellellen and Jallukar.

For those people who had already left, relief centres are being established at the Grampians Community Health Centre, Stawell, and Alexander Oval Community Centre at Ararat.

Emergency Management Commissioner Rick Nugent said it had been a ‘very challenging day’, with hundreds of volunteers required to fight the fires.

The fire situation is still unfolding but conditions are expected to ease tonight.