Church bells rang in the small community of Marysville to mark 10 years since the town was destroyed in the Black Saturday bushfires.
Members of the tight-knit town who wanted to reflect were invited to attend a church service on Thursday evening, followed by a walk to the memorial for a minute's silence.
Bells rang out at 7pm before those who gathered were invited to attend a community barbecue at the oval in Gallipoli Park where hundreds sheltered when fire ripped through the town on February 7, 2009.
Other towns including Kinglake, St Andrews, Strathewen, Flowerdale and Yarra Glen also held services on Thursday.
People in the Murrindindi shire area should be kind to themselves and others on a difficult day, Mayor Sandice McAulay said in a video address.
"While time can heal us we know the events of 10 years ago will never be forgotten, to those who lost family and friends, we send our love and support," she said.
The mayor, who fought fires to protect her and neighbours property at Taggerty, previously told AAP the anniversary was a hard time for many people.
"It's a hard time and people have got to the stage that they want to acknowledge and reflect on Thursday and then move on," she said.
While locals were welcomed at events numerous survivors told AAP they would not attend any commemorative events while others have urged rubberneckers to stay away.
"People will just be glad to get it over with and then there's no more anniversaries. We can move on," Marysville survivor Tony Thompson said.
But even retired judge Bernard Teague who chaired the Royal Commission into the deadly fires struggled to deal with the emotional impact of the day.
"I didn't steel myself for the 10th anniversary in the way that I did steel myself for doing the work of the royal commission," Mr Teague told ABC Radio.
"I got into the way of saying 'alright then I need to detach my emotional self from my rational self' and learn to go through all those processes saying 'I have got a job to do, I must not let others things distract me except from the empathy that it was necessary to show to the people'."
Prime minister Scott Morrison also paid tribute to people lost and those who worked to protect and serve their neighbours.
"While we have rebuilt our communities, I know that there are voids in the hearts of many family and friends who lost loved ones and who were impacted by the fires," Mr Morrison said.
"On this day, we remember the community spirit that shone through in the darkest of hours."
© AAP 2019