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Hot, dry, windy start to week
The fire services are expecting tomorrow (Monday, 3rd February) and Tuesday to be significant fire days with hot, dry and windy weather predicted.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a strong southerly wind change on Monday which could be accompanied by lightning.
“Victoria is very dry and ready to burn, as we have seen over the past two weeks,” he said.
“We are in the middle of another hot spell and Monday is predicted to be a particularly tricky day due to the early, strong wind change.
“This southerly wind change could pose a significant risk for fires that are currently being managed and any new fires that start.
“It will enter western Victoria early in the day, reach Melbourne by late morning and leave eastern Victoria late afternoon.
“Following the wind change, temperatures will drop on Tuesday but the fire risk will remain high due to dryness and continuing strong winds.”
Mr Lapsley said there has been about 34 new fires start in the last 24 hours. He also revealed that on Tuesday last week, eight of the 51 fires that started were believed to be caused by cigarette butts.
“Fires can start almost anywhere and anytime so people need to be aware of what is happening around them - including monitoring warnings - and know what they will do to stay safe,” he said.
“School is also back and parents in areas of fire risk need to adjust their bushfire survival plans to include contingencies for school pick up on bad days like Monday.
“They should also talk to a teacher about their school’s bushfire plans.”
Mr Lapsley also reminded Victorians to take care of themselves in this hot weather and check on sick or frail relatives, friends or neighbours who may need help.
“The Department of Health has a number of heat health alerts out for Sunday and Monday and the risk posed needs to be respected," he said.
Last Updated: 02 February 2014