More than 30 Victorians have died in the record heatwave while 29 homes have been destroyed by bushfires that are still threatening. The deaths of more than 30 Victorians will be investigated as authorities count the toll from last week's record-breaking heatwave.

A shell-shocked Premier John Brumby toured bushfire-ravaged Gippsland yesterday and admitted the scorching heat had taken its toll on the state. "I know it has not been a perfect week," he said.

The State Coroner will today start investigating the deaths from the heatwave when the mercury soared past 43C for three days in a row in Melbourne. Police said at least 30 people died but the toll could be much higher.

There were also 35 suspected heat-related deaths in Adelaide after it sweltered under almost a week of 40C-plus temperatures. Residents of fire-ravaged Gippsland towns are still on high alert even though cooler weather has stalled bushfires in the Latrobe Valley.

More than 400 weary firefighters were last night battling the fires that had burnt more than 60 sq km around Boolarra with one section at Mirboo North still out of control. Mr Brumby, who visited the fire control centre in Churchill yesterday, compared it to Black Friday. "The conditions on Friday were exactly parallel to that of Black Friday in 1939," he said. "Then we lost more than 70 lives, and to date we have not lost a single life, which is a credit to Victorians who have been pulling together, doing what's right for the state, and managing the situation. "There are obviously houses lost . . . so our hearts go out to those who have lost their homes," he said.

Yesterday the fire had destroyed 29 houses, 64 farm sheds, five cars, a truck, a piggery and 2200ha of timber plantation. Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce Esplin said there would be an investigation into why so many properties were lost, but said lives may also have been lost if people had not fled homes. "We may well have lost lives if people had not been part of that community education process," he said.

About 450 firefighters from local and far-flung brigades, 240 trucks, 27 bulldozers and 14 aircraft were battling the blaze. Mr Brumby announced immediate emergency relief grants of $1000 to people who had lost their homes. Means-tested grants up to $22,000 are also available. About 40 Boolarra and Mirboo North residents spent the weekend at the Monash University campus in Churchill. Boolarra resident Anita Gackenhein was desperate to learn whether her four alpacas had survived the blaze.

"I want to go in and get them out but the road is still blocked off so I don't even know if the house has survived," she said. "It is a horrible feeling not knowing what has happened." Mirboo North beef farmer Mark Christie worked through the night stopping spot fires on his property. "We knew we had to jump on the spot fires as soon as they started because it is so dry the fire would just take off." Mirboo North Fire Brigade Captain Mark Bourke said the community came together.

"We have been working 18 hours a day fighting this fire. All of the crews have been amazing and they have done things no one would be expected to do," he said. "When your community's under threat I guess everyone finds some extra energy from somewhere."