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Severe fire danger
With Severe Fire Danger Ratings continuing for certain districts, CFA is warning the community to have a fire plan in place.
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said the forecast for the rest of the week presents significant potential for fires.
“Conditions indicate that it’s going to be another busy fire season - it’s been wet and it will be a warm summer, meaning lots of vegetation growth and lots of fuel for fire. Last year was similar and we saw more than 4,000 fires burn 190,000 hectares in Victoria,” he said.
“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.”
Victorians are urged not only to have a plan in place but to practice it and know their trigger to leave.
“We can’t say it enough, leaving early is the safest option – leave and live,” Mr Ferguson said.
“Leaving early means leaving your area before there are any signs of fire not when you can already see smoke or flames, or smell smoke. Don’t get caught out in the open during a fire.”
Mr Ferguson also urged farmers to be aware of the fire risk over the coming days.
“CFA understands the importance of cropping, but we are asking farmers to cease activities on days of high fire danger like Thursday and Friday,” he said.
“The combination of high temperatures and relatively low humidity means there’s a strong chance that if a fire starts, it could develop quickly.
“This could be the beginning of a long and hot summer so the community needs to stay informed and stay safe.”
For warnings and alerts visit the VicEmergency website (www.emergency.vic.gov.au), CFA’s Facebook or Twitter account, or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667. Tune into your emergency broadcasters – ABC Local Radio, commercial radio and designated community radio stations or SKY News Television. Check the Fire Services Commissioner’s website – www.firecommissioner.vic.gov.au – for a full list of emergency broadcasters.