News & Media

Fire Commissioner update 21 Feb

By: CFA Media

Category: Community Safety, Operational Information

  12.14 PM 21 February, 2013

Location: General

Views: 2752

Thursday's message with Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley identifies that the weekend will be hot and windy which presents a fire risk.

A VicDeaf Auslan interpreter is again included in the video. The next scheduled video is Monday 25 February 2013.


Transcript - Craig Lapsley, Fire Services Commissioner - Fire update - 21 February 2013

The risk of fire is still with us. We are now into mid-February and the weather conditions have not changed and the forecast would say we don't see any rain of any significance for the next two or three weeks. That means we have a fire risk that will stay all of February and into early March.

This weekend is one of those that is going to be a really nice weekend. It's going to be hot, it's going to be a little bit humid, it will have winds in it, but again it tells us in a fire sense that we don't need severe temperatures or extreme wind speeds to have fires that move around. And I think we've seen that again this week. We saw it last week, and without doubt the presence of fire is a real risk this weekend.

The fires that are currently burning, the one that is of absolute note is the Grampians fire. Victoria Valley had fire in it during the week. Its a very aggressive fire and the communities in that area have had fire that's come out of the bush and burnt private land. We saved houses and did extremely well. We had helicopters, bulldozers and firetrucks work together. It was a very aggressive fire. And was reported as a great success, and you have to say well done to those firefighters and also those community members that were impacted by it.

The fire is now moving in a westerly direction over the Henty Highway through the community of Glenisla, a very small community but an important community, and is now near the Rocklands Reservois. Now Rocklands Reservois is a large reservois, during the drought it was an empty reservois but now got plenty of water in it, and the fire is moving around the south eastern corner of the reservois. That's of concern and the Incident Controller at Horsham has that as a key issue to deal with and the communities in the area have been communicated with through community meetings which have been well attended.

It tells you that fires are out there, it also tells you that we who live in provincial cities like Bendigo, Ballarat and Melbourne might not have visibility of these fires because they are very well deep-seated in rural Victoria but they are important to us. So, I think that's a key message to think about our rural communities that they have got a lot of pressure on them with the amount of smoke and fire that's about.

That's all we need to dwell on this time but just to finally say we are not out of it. We say it every week, we really do rely on people doing the right thing. It's a long haul, it's a very fatiguing time to have fires running for so long and a fire season that will now definitely reach into March, but we still want people to be focused on fire, understand what fire means, and not drop the ball at the end of the season when we've only got a few weeks to go.

Last Updated: 22 February 2013