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Fire risk remains in hot weather
Emergency services are reminding people that the risk of fires will continue in March with hot and dry weather conditions forecast going into the long weekend and next week.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said while there has been some rain in parts of the state, grasslands have dried out again quickly and the fire risk remains.
“As we’ve already seen this week, temperatures sat in the low to mid 30s in most areas of the state with no rain and next week the hot weather continues as we move into the high 30s,” he said.
“This comes as a reminder that we are not out of the woods yet when it comes to fire risk.”
Fire crews are prepared and the state’s aircraft fleet remains at 41 which includes two Aircranes after their contracts were extended to accommodate the ongoing hot weather.
Tourists and campers gearing up to pitch a tent this long weekend are encouraged to enjoy themselves but remain vigilant.
“People should get out and make the most of the long weekend but stay safe and take time to check the local conditions,” Mr Lapsley said.
"We do however ask campers to never leave their campfire unattended and ensure it’s completely out before leaving.”
The community is also reminded that fire restrictions remain in force across the state. This means you cannot light a fire in the open air unless you have a permit or comply with certain requirements. If you don't obtain a permit, you could be breaking the law and may be prosecuted.
“Even though it’s Autumn, the hot summer weather continues so fire restrictions will remain in place and people need to abide by those restrictions for your own safety and the safety of others,” he said.
People looking at travelling over the long weekend are encouraged to check the Parks Victoria website at www.parks.vic.gov.au for any national park closures.
Track closures are in place near some fire affected areas. 4WD drivers need to obey those closure signs for safety reasons.
It’s important to also check road closures on the VicRoads website (www.vicroads.vic.gov.au) as access to some camping areas may be difficult.