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Fire risk for New Year's Day
With hot and windy weather predicted tomorrow, a Total Fire Ban has been declared for the Mallee, Wimmera and Northern Country.
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said no fires can be lit in the open air from 01:00 hours on 1 January 2014 until 23:59 on 1 January 2014.
“The Total Fire Ban will not affect permitted fireworks displays, such as City of Melbourne, however campfires and bonfires are not permitted after 01:00 on New Year’s Day,” he said.
“Severe to Extreme fire danger is predicted for much of Victoria so community members are advised to think carefully about their holiday activities and stay safe during this festive holiday season.
“We’re at maximum dryness across the northern part of the state and the fuel loads indicate that if a fire did start, it could move quickly. Grassfires start quickly and travel faster than you can run. In no time, they can destroy properties and even kill.”
SES Acting Chief Officer Operations Tim Wiebusch said damaging winds of 90-100km/hr are possible tomorrow with wind gusts up to 100km/hr south of the ranges and in coastal areas.
“During this busy holiday period there are many people camping in parks around the state and we urge them to remain aware of local conditions and take appropriate action,” he said.
“Campers should not camp under trees during damaging winds as falling branches can be fatal. Drivers need to be alert to road conditions and be aware of possible debris across roads including fallen trees and powerlines.
“Residents should ensure all loose items around the home are safely secured and consider removing overhanging branches around their property before damaging winds arrive, if safe to do so.”
Travellers should check the Fire Danger Rating and Total Fire Ban status for your destination on the VicEmergency website (www.emergency.vic.gov.au) before you go and listen to local radio for warnings and advice while on the road.
Plan what you’ll do if a fire starts in the area you are staying and practice it.
To find out what you can and can’t do on a day of Total Fire Ban.