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Commissioner video update 20/1/14
The week starting the 20th of January is a milder week across Victoria. It's a welcome milder week given the fact we've just had such excessive heat and also fire operations over the last week.
This week the Fire Danger Ratings will be high or very high in most districts on most days, however there could be a spike day later in the week which will be Friday, so certainly watch that. But on the same token the forecast has indicated there may be a shower of rain on Friday so it could be a little bit both ways so obviously by Friday we will know that.
The key thing though is that we've come off the back of a very strong heat period, with excessive heat, and people need to think about that and reflect on how it impacted upon them, what it meant and what are the plans people need to have. Because I think if people reflect, it will tell them to either build a plan that they may not have, and it's not too late to build a plan, and also if they've got a plan it might allow them to modify it slightly. Then if you take it to fire it's the same scenario. Think about what the heat does, think about the connection to fire, it's about revisiting what you do and how you do it.
I think Victorians have done extremely well over the last week. Our fires that we've had, we've had lots of fires, most of them have been started by lightning which means the Victorian community has been listening and been very aware of what the fire potential is and has been. But we need to make sure we stay focused. The conditions will not change. The showers of rains if they come through will be just that, showers. There's no forecast of excessive rain. Rain that will change the landscape and the scenario. The month of February will be critical, normally in Victoria's history, it's very clear in Victoria's history, that's the month when we have our major fires. It's the hot month, it's the critical period and we've got dry, dry conditions everywhere across the state now, so the month of February will be critical. We shouldn't be scared of it, we should stay focused and we need to be about what you and your family, about what you need to do about your safety and you need to know where to get information and we say it all the time but take time in this slow period to find where the information is and understand what you will use it for, how you'll use it in the time of need.
That's it, I think we've done extremely well. To our firefighters you have to say thank you. Every one of them has done an exceptional job, volunteer, career, MFB, CFA, Parks Victoria, DEPI, absolutely fantastic. Not only have we protected Victoria, we've got trucks in South Australia, CFA has been in South Australia and also New South Wales fighting their fires so we've done really, really well, and we should be extremely proud of our firefighters and what they do and how they do it.