Firefighters continue to battle a bushfire spanning 40-hectares of land near Ballarat, in Victoria’s west.

Watch and Act warnings are currently in place for Buninyong, Durham Lead, Scotsburn, and Grenville, Emergency Victoria said in an updated statement tonight.

The fast-moving bushfire, which began about 2.30pm, is not yet controlled, with firefighters unable to stop the fire crossing Scotts Lane.

A view of the bushfire from the ground.

A view of the bushfire from the ground.

It is currently burning in a southerly direction.

Residents have been urged that leaving is the safest option and to monitor conditions, which can worsen rapidly.

“If you are away from home, do not return.”

A relief centre has been set up at the Buninyong Recreation Reserve.

Fire crews have been working to control the blaze for much of this afternoon.

Fire crews have been working to control the blaze for much of this afternoon.

Fixed-wing aircraft are dispersing fire retardant over the blaze.

Fixed-wing aircraft are dispersing fire retardant over the blaze.

Large flames are being fanned by strong winds.

Large flames are being fanned by strong winds.

Local man Mark Boswerger told 9News he grabbed his neighbour’s dog and placed it in the safety of his air-conditioned vehicle.

“I got a bit teary when I was coming out, because I knew how close it was,” Mr Boswerger said.

“This is the second fire in three or four years that has come close, you sort of wonder when your luck is going to run out.”

Today marks the first test for the state’s new firefighting fleet, which comprises fixed-wing tankers and helicopter.

Resident Mark Boswerger places his neighbour's dog in the safety of his vehicle as the fire burns.

Resident Mark Boswerger places his neighbour's dog in the safety of his vehicle as the fire burns.

Earlier the 9News chopper camera filmed extensive smoke and flames being fanned by winds gusts of up to 50km/h.

Tomorrow a Total Fire Ban has been declared for the Mallee, Wimmera, and Northern Country with strong winds to accompany temperatures of up to 40 degrees.

The blistering maximums forecast come after a sizzling day for the state today.

For the latest updates visit Emergency Victoria here

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