News & Media

Fire Commissioner's update (28/01)

By: CFA Media

Category: Community Safety, Incidents - Bushfire

  10.51 AM 28 January, 2014

Location: General

Views: 3244

An update on fire weather conditions for Victoria.

Again this week we are into very hot weather across Victoria.

We will see  weather that will start off in the 30s the mid 30s, the high 30s into the 40s and brings with that fire danger that is severe and extreme.

It is an interesting week in many instances. Dry across the state, we have now dried the state out and we have weather that will be hot but on a couple of days there will not be a lot of wind, so the fire danger ratings themselves will be listed as very high but the potential is so significant.

So now we are seeing fires run on days of very high fire danger rating and that means we have got conditions that are dry, hot and don’t need wind to push fires along.

We’ve seen that in the last couple of days in the sense that we lost farm sheds, we have impacted on livestock, on days that were very high fire danger rating. So that tells us that we have moved to the critical part of the fire season. It also tells us that we need to be very conscious about our levels of preparedness, our readiness levels and start to manage our fatigue because without a doubt, it is not going away. The hot weather is here to stay, the overnight temperatures will stay up, and we have got this ongoing, I think now, for a number of weeks.

There is no break in the weather.

We will see days, every four or five days where the heat will stay in and then the wind will come up behind it. And that is exactly this week. Tuesday the winds will be up, and again over the weekend over Saturday and Sunday, but probably Sunday. And then it continues.

So there is no break in the immediate future. Which means we’ve got to manage ourselves, we’ve got manage out fatigue, we’ve got to manage what we do and how we do it, and we are also into February.

February brings with it other challenges. People are back from holidays, kids are back at school, you could say people are back into their normal run of what happens around the house and at work. And coupled with all that means that we across the emergency services to be attuned to it, but we also need to make sure that our community understands what that means and we will certainly do a lot of work around that and understand the potential of heat, and heat waves.

Now I mentioned last week a thank you to a lot of people. We were really saying to our fire fighters, what a great effort. High temperatures out there on the back of fire trucks, a hard job. But it is much broader than that. Our municipalities, our support agencies, DHS, Red Cross, all of those support agencies that have worked there, that are providing relief recovery, coordination at the municipal level, are really important and to what I can see are doing an absolute great job together.

It is interesting to see out Ministers and the Premier has made special note of how well we are connected, and that is because we are willing to do it and we want to do it, and that’s something we need to keep going at.

One thing I’ve watched over years is when we get fatigued it is very easy to come back and look after yourself, you own agency and fall back to what is the behaviours of old. Let’s make sure we don’t do that. Even when the going gets tough, let’s make sure we are still multi-agency, we are still focused on what the community need, but we need to look after ourselves to get there and this is going to be a long February, without a doubt.

I can’t see a break in the weather, which means we are into a long haul.

So let’s keep our chin up, let’s keep focused, we are good at what we do, let’s keep doing what we are good at, and let’s do it together and let’s show Victoria what we really are as a true force of doing it together as one.

Last Updated: 30 January 2014