Unattended campfires have started about 50 bushfires in Victoria during the holiday period, with campers flouting total fire bans and leaving fires smouldering.

Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) agency commander David Nugent said campfires can easily spark major blazes in bushland, especially when conditions are hot, dry and windy.

He said DSE officers had to extinguish more than 20 campfires in state forest areas in Gippsland last Friday even though there was a total fire ban.

Fire services have had to put out about 50 fires around campsites over the Christmas and New Year period, the DSE says.

"This type of behaviour is unacceptable and dangerous to the community," Mr Nugent said.

Campfires can smoulder for weeks if not properly extinguished and easily flare up on hot days.

A total fire ban is in force across Victoria on Friday.

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