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Update from Chief Officer Steve Warrington

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We’ve ticked into December, which for Victorians means warm weather, cricket and an impending visit from a man in a red suit.

Update from Chief Officer Steve Warrington

For our firefighters, it means remaining vigilant and ready to go if and when the time comes.

You need to look no further than what is happening in Queensland for an example of the sort of extreme weather that can take place. 

We’ve sent two deployments of firefighters north to assist, and we will continue to support them in whatever way we can. 

I’m very proud of the willingness of CFA’s personnel to go assist our Queensland counterparts during their time in need.

Closer to home, our firefighters have encountered grassfires in the north-east and south-east parts of the state.

It’s important to be across the conditions that are developing in Victoria to know what we’re up against.

Looking ahead, there are mixed conditions being forecast for the month of December. The Bureau of Meteorology tells us that above average day and night time temperatures and average rainfall is expected for most of Victoria. We know that this can lead to above average evaporation rates.

While the recent rainfall has offered some reprieve, this may not last because of the longer-term rainfall deficit that parts of Victoria have experienced – particularly East Gippsland. According to the Bureau, it’s been one of the top 10 driest springs on record for Victoria.

El Nino conditions are likely through the summer. However, El Nino typically has a weaker influence on rainfall in south eastern Australia during summer than it does in winter and spring. The positive IOD has been a significant contributor to the dry conditions but this will lessen as the tropics become more active (this is part of its normal cycle).

What all of this means is that brigades must be ready and alert, which I know they will be.

We need to be best prepared to safely protect the community, and each other.

This week CFA celebrated International Volunteer Day.

Our volunteers come from all walks of life, and are all so valuable to both CFA, and the communities they serve. 

I congratulate the vital role our volunteers play in protecting lives and property.