A tyre fire in Skipton has raised fears about toxic smoke ahead of what is predicted to be a fierce summer.
CFA crews were called in to a property southeast of the town after a private grass burn ran out of control about 4.40pm on Wednesday.
More than 20 firefighters, five tankers and two utes attended the scene near Rokewood-Skipton Road to tackle the blaze, which crept into a rubbish pile and ignited tyres.
It was then that crews saw toxic black smoke billowing from the fire and decided to issue a warning for Skipton residents to immediately shut windows and air conditioning vents about 5.10pm.
CFA operations officer Neville Collins said authorities treated tyre fires seriously.
“The smoke is very toxic if inhaled,” he said.
“As you can understand, the consistency of rubber puts up a very black and acrid smoke.
“Fortunately, the fire was on the outskirts of town so it didn't impact residents as much.”
Firefighters used foam and water to contain the blaze, bringing it under control about 6.15pm.
CFA officers said it was important for landholders to ensure they supervised their controlled burns before the fire danger period.
It comes just months after a massive tyre fire broke out in the northern Melbourne suburb of Coolaroo in June, forcing the evacuation of more than 100 nearby residents and spewing black smoke over the city for days.
A Ballarat SES air monitoring unit was called in and travelled to the scene at a recycling plant in a joint partnership with Victoria’s Environmental Protection Authority.
In August, the EPA began removing a mountain of tyres from a site in Stawell following years of inaction over the fire hazard.
"If the tyres were to go up in flames, it would have huge impacts on society, the economy and the environment," Danny Childs, the agency's project manager at the site, previously said.
More than 380 trucks filled with tyre and shred were taken from the site.