Benign weather conditions have slowed down a massive bushfire burning in Victoria's east as residents in the town of Licola, 15 kilometres from the fire front, were bracing for possible impact.
Almost 300 firefighters battled the 48,000-hectare blaze through Friday night while 28 firefighters remained with 10 residents who chose to stay and defend their homes at Licola.
A CFA spokesman said the fire was still headed for the town of Licola on Friday night.
But while the blaze was just 15km away from the town, it was moving slowly thanks to cooler conditions and calming winds, he said.
"Benign weather conditions have slowed the fire down," he said.
The fire began in the Baw Baw National Park on Thursday and had forced the evacuation of homes in Seaton, Licola and Heyfield by Friday morning.
The blaze has already claimed the life of a man whose body was found in a burnt-out car in the Seaton area.
Victoria Police have confirmed that at least five properties have been destroyed.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Rod Dickson said favourable weather conditions were forecast for the bushfire-affected areas.
"In terms of bad fire weather, that sort of period has passed," Mr Dickson said.
"There's nothing nasty in terms of strong wind changes, it's all pretty settled.
"We have got more stable conditions coming up."