Thousands of fire-fighters in southern Australia have been put on alert amid fears that bush fires could become a new threat to residents. Strong winds and dry conditions are forecast for Victoria state, where more than 200 people were killed by bush fires last month and where a number of blazes are still burning. There are fears that the winds could cause the fires to spread quickly. Up to five million residents have been warned about the threat and around 5,000 fire-fighters are on high alert in the area.