Tomorrow’s conditions in the Mallee, Wimmera and Northern Country will be very hot and dry, with temperatures forecast to reach high 30s in the far north.
Hot, dry and moderate to fresh north-northwesterly winds have been forecast, before a west-southwesterly wind change moving into the south west in the afternoon and reaching central districts late at night. There is little to no rain forecast.
The combination of heat and strong winds will considerably increase the fire risk, resulting in a Fire Danger Rating of Severe for the Mallee, Wimmera and Northern Country regions. The Fire Danger Rating will be Very High across North Central, South West, and Central, and High across North East Victoria and Gippsland.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the weather conditions meant an elevated fire risk across large parts of the state.
“Tomorrow, the Mallee, Wimmera and Northern Country will experience elevated dangerous fire conditions and as a result, we have declared a Total Fire Ban across the three districts,” he said.
CO Heffernan said there were particular concerns around the number of campers enjoying the holiday period across regional Victoria and he urged everyone to take great care and not light any campfires.
“Campfires will not be allowed in the four districts from midnight tonight, and we would really urge people not to light one earlier in the night either or in other areas of Victoria,” he said. “Anyone who has had a campfire in recent days should make sure the fire has been adequately extinguished to avoid flare-ups.
“From my recent travels across Victoria, I am also very mindful of the need for our farming communities to finish harvest following a period of wet weather. The current hot and dry conditions will allow the finishing of harvest, however I urge those still harvesting to be careful and take all necessary precautions.”
A Total Fire Ban means no fire can be lit in the open air or allowed to remain alight from 12.01am to 11.59pm on the day of the Total Fire Ban.
Strict rules also apply to the operation of farm machinery, chainsaws and lawn mowers, and residents in Mallee and Wimmera in particular are encouraged to take extreme care tomorrow.
For more information on what you can and can't do visit the Can I or Can't I page on the CFA website.
Victorians should also make sure they have access to more than one source of information in the event of an emergency, including:
- ABC local radio, commercial and designated community radio stations, or Sky News
- The VicEmergency App
- The VicEmergency website www.emergency.vic.gov.au
- The VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 Tuesday before they come into force. Victorians can find out “Can I or Can’t I?” information at cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can or by calling VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226. All burn-offs should be registered online at firepermits.vic.gov.au or with the VicFire Burn-off notification line on 1800 668 511.