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Commissioner video update 31/1/14
It continues hot and obviously, that’s got all these pressures on communities.
Think about those who are living north of the Great Divide. It has been 40 degrees day after day after day now for days on end and it continues into the weekend
It’s interesting when you think about that. Victoria is only a small state, but here we’ve got the difference of living here in Southern parts, in Melbourne, it can be in the low 30s and all of a sudden you look over the Great Divide and you see this heat plus heat plus heat.
Obviously, what brings that is the fact that we have all this hot weather from Central Australia: it’s not going away.
The next couple of days will be really interesting. We’ve got Friday, Saturday, Sunday that are really hot. But on Monday, it’s going to be hot and windy which means it’s the highest of the fire danger risk for this week.
Also with that, we have talked about it and we continue to talk about it, it brings the South Westerly change. So on Monday we will see a change move through Victoria which will change the wind direction, it will start to cool the place but brings the potential of elevated fire behaviour, if we’ve got fires running.
The best thing we can wish for is that we don’t have any fires running so we rely heavily on the Victorian community not to light fires, not to be part of any fire ignition and if a fire does start, that they report it straight away
Fire resources are in a good space. To get us through February, we’ve supplemented our teams with people, crews, from New Zealand and New South Wales in forest fire fighters that are working in East Gippsland. And also we have brought incident management teams in from Queensland and New South Wales to work with us during this really critical period that will go on and on.
Although I talk about Monday being the change, the forecast sees that it just heats up behind it. The heat doesn’t go away. So we’ve still got more heat.
So I suppose what it says is we’ve got to manage ourselves, we’ve got to manage our fatigue, we’ve got to think this through. The heat messaging from Rosemary Lister, the Chief Health Officer is still strong: Look after yourself. Look after your neighbour. Look after your family, your friends. Do that bit that’s really important about caring for each other. And also, think about fire.
We’ve got great resources great people do great things. But think about fire fighters on the back of a truck when it’s 46 degrees. It’s not the most pleasant but they do it with ease, they do it with pleasure and they do it so well. So you have got to say well done to all of our fire fighters: career, volunteer, whatever agency they are with, its fantastic.
It’s a difficult time but it’s a time that if we stick together, understand it, plan it through, think what it means to you, think what it means to your family. We will get there and we will get there well.
So charge on. I know it’s difficult if you are out there day after day in the heat. If you live in Bendigo or Mildura, it’s just hot. And it’s going to continue hot.
*Fire conditions update 31 January 2014 – video transcript*