Hundreds of roads have been closed in Victoria, choking tourism as travel restrictions remain in place due to bushfires.
Emergency services placed restrictions on road travel in bushfire areas while some regional train services east and north of Melbourne have been disrupted.
Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said hundreds of roads had been closed, mainly smaller roads but also some highways.
Major roads including the Strzelecki Highway, the Goulburn Valley Highway, the Northern Highway, the Princes Freeway and the Hyland Freeway have been affected.
“We are closing these roads on the advice of local fire services to protect people’s lives,” Mr Lay said on Monday.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley acknowledged the consequences of the travel restrictions on Victoria’s trade and tourism.
“Economics in Victoria is really important and tourism is part of that economic overlay.
“The Princes Highway in Gippsland is the only route that travels between Victoria and NSW.
“The diversion of traffic in Gippsland is a long road.
“To keep the Princes Highway open in East Gippsland is a very important factor and we’ll work closely with all the agencies to ensure that that’s minimised as much as it can be.”
VicRoads says lanes are now open on the Princes Freeway East between Newborough and Morwell in the Latrobe Valley.
V/Line trains have been running between Melbourne and Moe.
Replacement coach services had been diverting but V/Line spokesman Colin Tyrus said the coach services were now able to run along the Princes Freeway.
Mr Tyrus said V/Line track inspection crews were in the process of assessing damage to railway tracks and infrastructure.