A COLD change has finally brought relief for Ballarat, with the temperature plummeting more than 11 degrees in half an hour.
The Bureau of Meteorology recorded a drop of 11.1 degrees between 4pm and 4.30pm on Saturday afternoon, from 34.7 to 23.6 degrees.
However the bureau also warned the change could bring heavy rain, hailstones and damaging winds.
It had earlier been forecast to hit 39 degrees on Saturday evening sparking fears of serious bushfire risk.
On Friday a massive grassfire near Moyston, west of Ararat, destroyed one home and threatened others.
In Ballarat, Nerrina residents were evacuated close to midnight after a scrub fire on the Western Freeway which was thought to have been deliberately lit.
A total fire ban was in place across the state on Saturday.