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Stay safe this Aussie Day weekend
This Australia Day long weekend, Victoria’s fire agencies are reminding the community to check conditions before travelling around the state, be aware of fire-affected areas and stay safe.
Department of Environment and Primary Industries (DEPI) Chief Fire Officer Alan Goodwin said there is still a number of bushfires going in the Mallee, East Gippsland and the Grampians.
“Where bushfires are still burning, a small number of national parks and state forests have been closed to the public,” he said.
“However there are plenty of camping and bush walking options that are open across the state and holiday makers can make the most of the long weekend.
“Parts of the Grampians National Park have reopened such as the popular tourist location Halls Gap, which is welcoming visitors.
“Anyone visiting fire-affected areas need to be aware of falling trees. Never pitch your tent next to a tree or under large branches,” he said.
Mr Goodwin said it was important for people to drive cautiously around fire-affected areas, be aware of the current conditions, and look out for emergency service personnel and vehicles.
“With weather conditions expected to reach the 40’s in some parts of the state next Tuesday, we’re asking campers to ensure their campfires are completely extinguished before heading home on Monday.”
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson urged people to be aware of the safety risks associated with gas barbecues and illegal fireworks while enjoying the long weekend.
“Illegal fireworks have the potential to start fires and cause serious damage to property, grass and bushland and most importantly threaten lives,” he said.
“Before lighting any open fire barbecues Victorians need to check the VicEmergency or CFA website for any fire warnings and restrictions. Also check your gas barbeque is in working order before firing it up."
“Barbecue lunches are a tradition on Australia Day but we don’t want celebrations to be hampered if a fire breaks out.”
The following parks have been affected by fire and are either closed or have areas that are closed:
- Alpine National Park
- Grampians National Park
- Snowy River National Park
- Mount Buangor State Park
- Murray Sunset National Park is closed south of Sturt Highway. This section of the park will remain closed until the end of the day Tuesday 28 January 2014.
- Big Desert Wilderness Park and Wyperfeld National Park are closed to ensure public safety due to fire activity. They will remain closed until the end of the day Tuesday 28 January 2014.
- A number of tracks at the southern end of Big River State Forest (near Marysville) including Frenchmans Creek, Monument Creek Track, Boundary Track and Two Mile Track. Camping grounds will re-open for the Australia Day weekend, however, tracks will remain closed near Frenchmans Creek.
- A Public Safety Zone has been established in parts of East Gippsland which restricts access to areas of state forest north east of Dargo and area north east of Licola near Mount Tamboritha. Walking tracks to Lake Tali Karng, along Wellington River, Mt Spion Kopje and Mt Wellington in Alpine NP are also closed.
Please check the Parks Victoria website for up-to date information about park closures or areas that have been reopened.
All road closures are listed on the VicRoads website.