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Fireys arrive in Victoria
Firefighters from Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand will arrive today and tomorrow as Victoria braces for a month of forecasted, extreme fire danger.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said over the past few months, the state had already experienced prolonged hot weather and heightened fire danger, with February traditionally being Victoria’s peak in summer fire risk.
“As a result of this hot weather the grasslands and forests are now extremely dry,” he said.
“Now, Victoria is heading into a severe heatwave from Friday that is likely to last at least seven days with no rain forecast.”
Mr Lapsley said the additional support from Queensland, NSW and New Zealand was welcomed by Victorian crews who have already been fighting large, campaign fires, some which are still running.
“Our crews have been working on various incidents for several months now and some of these fires are still going,” he said.
“The total area burnt over the last 10 days is 140,000 hectares.
“While crews have done a fantastic job responding to and containing these blazes, there is still active fire burning within containment lines and a lot of work to do in cleaning-up and blacking out.
“Whenever we have severe or extreme fire danger forecast, we need to take in to account that we still have fires going and a long four to six weeks ahead.”
In total, around 120 people will arrive in the next week from New South Wales, Queensland and New Zealand to assist in both firefighting and operational support roles.
“Taskforces and incident management teams will be sent to areas including Gisborne, Bendigo, Geelong and Seymour and to areas where fires are currently going in Gippsland around Orbost and Bairnsdale,” Mr Lapsley said.
“This will be an opportunity to supplement our capability to ensure that Victoria has the best level of preparedness for the remainder of the fire season.”