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Warm weekend sees spike in grassfires
CFA responded to more than 40 grass and scrub fires over the weekend as warm weather swept across the state.
Temperatures reached close to 30 degrees in some parts of Victoria on Sunday with warm northerly winds fanning the fire risk.
From Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September, CFA District 8, which encompasses Melbourne’s south-east from Dandenong to the Mornington Peninsula and Phillip Island, recorded the highest number of grassfires.
State Duty Officer Mark Kennedy said conditions over the past few days should serve as a reminder to people to be prepared.
“Whether you live in suburban Melbourne or on a farm in rural Victoria, you need to have a bushfire survival plan in place,” he said.
“As the grass dries out, fires can start and spread quite quickly, catching people off guard, which is why it’s important to know what to do ahead of time.”
Mark said there were simple measures people could take to protect their property.
“Reducing the volume of grass around the home is the first step, which can be done by mowing or spraying the area with herbicide, grazing, or creating a fire break,” he said.
“The taller and drier the grass, the more intensely a fire will burn. Short grass less than 10 centimetres is ideal to lower the risk.
“Cutting down fuel loads will reduce the ability of a grassfire to spread to buildings through direct contact or radiant heat.
“But now is the time to do the work. It’s too late to begin spraying and slashing once a fire is approaching.”
Be aware of the weather conditions on the day as machinery such as chainsaws, tractors and welders can spark grassfires accidentally.
Visit cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/grassfires for further information.