A firetruck is seen as a bushfire approaches the town of Labertouche, 90km (56 miles) east of Melbourne, February 7, 2009.
A firetruck is seen as a bushfire approaches the town of Labertouche, 90km (56 miles) east of Melbourne, February 7, 2009. Aircraft dropped water bombs on raging Australian bush fires and homes went up in flames on Saturday as a once-in-a-century heatwave sent temperatures in Melbourne to their highest on record. Australian bush fires killed 14 people in the southern state of Victoria on Saturday, police and local media said. Reuters/Mick Tsikas

A fire has been raging in the western part of Victoria, Australia, and has placed the lives of residents under threat. Firefighters have managed to contain the bushfire but remained on alert for more fires as extremely dry weather conditions persist.

Extreme weather conditions have prompted bushfire alerts in several states in Australia with Victoria at risk to face the greatest fire danger in the summer. Temperatures in the southern part of the country are expected to be beyond 30 degrees Celsius. Fire authorities have issued fire bans in every region except in East Gippsland last week. A new ban was announced to cover the whole state over the weekend.

Craig Lapsley, emergency management commissioner, told media that the weather was extremely dry with some parts of Victoria in a state of partial drought, the Guardian reported. A spokesperson for the State Control Centre had said the coming weekend would be the state's worst fire conditions of the summer.

According to the weather bureau, strong northerly winds may bring in dry conditions that may cause lightning strikes. Extreme bushfire danger ratings are expected in South West, Mallee, Wimmera, North Central and Central regions this weekend. State parks, including those around Melbourne, were closed in preparation for extreme bushfire conditions.

Authorities have urged residents in some parts of South Australia to leave their homes due to a "catastrophic" fire day forecast. Dangerous weather conditions in the Mt Lofty Ranges and Victoria's lower south east region has prompted authorities to issue the highest fire danger warning.

The South Australia Country Fire Service had previously warned residents to leave their homes to ensure their survival. The CFS said a fire that would ignite under catastrophic fire danger conditions would be difficult to contain.

In Western Australia, extreme fire danger was issued for the Goldfields' Region. Residents in the Lenora and Coolgardie shires are advised to prepare for high-risk weather conditions, news.com.au reported. Firefighters are preparing for the worst as bushfire season arrives. Authorities reminded people to check on family members and friends, especially the elderly. Remaining indoors and drinking lots of water were also encouraged in fire-danger conditions.

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