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Total Fire Ban declared as conditions worsen
CFA has declared a Total Fire Ban for the Mallee fire district for Wednesday 18 November.
Meanwhile, authorities are predicting elevated fire danger to continue through into Thursday, with fire danger expected to peak at extreme and severe levels in northern Victoria.
On Total Fire Ban days, subject to exceptions, no fire can be lit in the open air or be allowed to remain alight in the open air between 00:01 and 23:59.
According to the four-day forecast the Mallee will have a Fire Danger Rating of extreme on Thursday; the Wimmera, Northern Country and North Central districts will be severe; and South West, Central, North East and West and South Gippsland are set to experience very high fire danger.
This would be the second time this season that extreme Fire Danger Ratings have been forecast for Victorian fire weather districts, following 6 October where several fires impacted or threatened communities.
‘Extreme’ is the second highest Fire Danger Rating.
State Response Controller Joe Buffone said fire authorities were already on high alert and were determining strategic deployment of aircraft.
“On Thursday we are expecting to see maximums into the low 40s across the north west and high 30s in the north east,” he said.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting very hot conditions to build across Australia this week, with northern Victoria forecast tipped to experience ‘low intensity heatwave conditions’.
Mr Buffone said parts of the state were extremely dry and reminded Victorians that fire restrictions were in place for more than two thirds of the state’s 79 municipalities.
“We expect to see these risky days with more and more frequency as we move into December,” he said.
“Even if the Fire Danger Period is yet to be declared in your area please take care with burning off or any other activity that could start a fire.
“Use your common sense and don’t use fire on hot, windy days, and ensure any fires are totally extinguished.
“This especially applies for farmers using vehicles and equipment – postpone any work that is not absolutley essential and please do make sure your suppression equipment is in good working order.”
Check what you can or can’t do on Total Fire Days or during the Fire Danger Period by visiting cfa.vic.gov.au/can