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Total Fire Bans - Monday 3 February
Total Fire Bans (TFB) have been declared for all nine Victorian districts (including ‘Central’ which takes in Melbourne and Geelong) for Monday 3 February 2014.
CFA Chief Officer Euan Ferguson said the hot and dry conditions posed a risk across Victoria, with Fire Danger Ratings in the Mallee, Northern Country and North Central forecast as ‘Severe’ and the rest of the State at ‘Very-High’.
“Monday is expected to be a serious fire weather day due to high overnight temperatures and an early wind change accompanied by lightning and strong winds after the change, so we felt a statewide TFB was needed,” he said.
“Grass and fuel loads across the whole State have almost completely dried out, so we are calling on all Victorians to exercise caution and common sense – people need to take great care to prevent a fire in these conditions.
"Just yesterday, a crop fire in Woodstock was believed to have been started by a slasher and burnt through 400 hectares. It should be a reminder to farmers, that when conditions are this hot and dry, they should postpone using machinery if at all possible.
During a TFB, 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.
Penalties for lighting fires illegally include large fines and possible imprisonment.
A full rundown of what can and can’t be done during a TFB is available here.