MAIN tourist routes into the southern portion of the Grampians have have been closed as two huge bushfires continue to cut a swathe through the national park.
Hundreds of firefighters were battling to control the flames fanned by a strong north-westerly wind ahead of an expected westerly change late in the afternoon.
Residents of Mirranatwa and Dunkeld were on high alert and were urged to attend a community meeting at 5pm today in Dunkeld Bowling Club with officers from various emergency departments to update on the fire situation.
Police from Warrnambool, Portland and Hamilton are assisting with road closures.
Incident control officer Senior Sergeant Steve Thompson of Warrnambool said the main Victoria Valley Road and Grampians Tourist Road route was closed along with the Victoria Point and Mokanger roads.
Park access from Cavendish to Glenisla Crossing is also closed.
The largest fire along Jensens Road, 30 kilometres north of Dunkeld has already burnt about 1200 hectares and is still out of control.
It was expected to hit the Victoria Valley community by 7pm.
Another large slow-moving fire just a few kilometres to the south-west along Clutterbucks Road has scorched about 840ha, and has just broken through containment lines.
Heavy smoke from these and other fires burning in the Grampians has drifted south to Warrnambool where residents woke to an eerie red sunrise masked by a thick smoke cloud and ash covered vehicles.
Southern Grampians Shire Council has established an emergency co-ordination centre and has sent its fleet of graders and drivers to assist fire control efforts.
The shire will open a relief centre if there are evacuations.
People with breathing difficulties have been advised to take precautions and seek medical attention.