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‘What a waste’: Residents demand answers over Lancefield fires

Residents returning to their homes to assess the damage as the Lancefield bushfire continues to rage out of control are demanding answers from authorities.

The emergency warning for the area has been downgraded to a watch and act, but the fire has already burnt thousands of hectares and destroyed at least two homes.

It’s believed the fire started after a planned burn by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.

Sheep farmer Cate Thomas lives next to the Cobaw State Forest and has lost kilometres of fences in the fire.

‘It’s such a waste of resources, and such an unnecessary event, it should never have happened,’ she told Neil Mitchell.

READ MORE: Fire downgraded to a watch and act

Like others, she was furious the department went ahead with the planned burn.

‘With the forecast coming, it was something you’d never consider doing,’ she said.

Part-time Benloch farmer Kathy Kaplan believes flames could have come within a few hundred metres of her home.

‘As I left, I said goodbye to the house as I thought that might be it,’ she said.

Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to announce an inquiry into the fire this morning.

LISTEN: Neil Mitchell speaks to residents affected by the bushfire