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Commissioner video update 13/1/14
This week across Victoria is going to be a very very hot week. We will see temperatures in the 40s in most locations day after day. That brings a number of challenges.
It's not just about fire it's about heat, it's about heat fatigue, it's about the human factor about heat and how we operate and make sure we keep ourselves hydrated, cool and can think properly.
There is nothing worse than day after day where all gets a little bit difficult and things are quite challenging for the person.
It also challenges the infrastructure. Although we've got great infrastructure in electricity, transport and all of those heat like this will challenge those things. And we should think if there was an outage of some kind what would that mean for me, to us and how we operate? So that is important.
But it also brings the challenge of fire. Although the forecast is very clear that there is not strong winds in the early part of the week the forecast looks like Thursday and Friday could have strong winds and more likely Friday. Now that means the Fire Danger Index is up the Fire Danger Rating will move into severe or maybe extreme. And that brings that challenge of how fire operates in Victoria.
But the most important part of this week is that it is the changing point of the summer. This type of temperature day after day, overnight temperatures are up, will see this bake Victoria.
And when I say bake Victoria I mean the fine bits of fuel that have got that little bit of moisture will have it zapped out of them.
So by the end of the week, we'll move into next week with a very, very dry situation across all districts including the coast, the Dandenong's and Gippsland that are still a little bit green now. So that changes the whole story because all we need then is that fire weather to come in late January, early February or through February.
And that sees us move into things that are going to be very severe for that period and that's the message I think we have to take out of this week. The fact it's the turning point for the summer period to see whether we will and up in Victoria in a very, very serious situation.
We shouldn't be scared of that, we should actually build it into our plans, we should make sure that we all have plans, ourselves our family, where we work, how we operate are really important. But this week I think is going to be all about heat, our ability to withstand the heat and Friday will be the fire day of the week but it's the turning point for the state which is the critical thing.
So let's all stay focused not be scared of what I've just said, it's a reality factor, but let's build it into what we've got to do collectively, and I'm sure we'll do very well as we always do in Victoria, about what the next few weeks will bring us.