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Race-goers urged to stay safe
Emergency services are urging crowds attending this weekend’s Southern 80 to stay safe as the north of the state continues to face severe fire danger.
Total Fire Bans have been declared in the North Central, North East and Northern Country weather districts for tomorrow, Saturday 9 February as of 12.01am through to 11.59pm, meaning no fires can be lit in the open air.
Loddon Mallee Regional Fire Controller Rob Price said race-goers should be aware of the fire bans and what they can and can’t do to ensure everyone has an enjoyable and safe weekend.
“Campfires are banned during Total Fire Ban Days, as well as solid-fuel and gas barbecues and ovens. People camping along the Murray River this weekend need to be aware of these restrictions and understand why they’re in place,” Mr Price said.
“With the hot, dry and windy weather we’ve experienced this summer, particularly over the last week, it won’t take much for a fire to take hold and have potentially devastating consequences.
“We want everyone to enjoy their weekend at the Southern 80 and are therefore calling on everyone to take responsibility for their own actions and safety.”
Parks Victoria rangers will be increasing patrols over the weekend to ensure campers are doing the right thing, and adhering to camp fire regulations in the dry conditions. On-the-spot fines will be issued for campfire offences such as leaving fires unattended or having oversized fires.
The penalties for doing illegal activities on a Total Fire Ban day are large fines and possible imprisonment.
Mr Price said as hot weather will continue throughout the weekend, people travelling to events such as the Southern 80 should be aware of local conditions and plan what they will do in the event of an emergency.
“When you are on holidays you’re often in a place which is unfamiliar to you and are generally more relaxed. While we want everyone to enjoy their weekend, we want them to remember it for all of the right reasons,” Mr Price said.
“Stay informed through cfa.vic.gov.au, by listening to ABC Local radio and commercial and designated community radio stations, by using the FireReady app, calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (1800 240 667) or visiting an accredited visitor information centre.”
People can also find out what they can and can’t do on a day of Total Fire Ban or during the Fire Danger Period by visiting, http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can/
For more detailed information about campfire safety, visit www.dse.vic.gov.au