CFA has declared Total Fire Bans for Monday, January 18 2016 in the South West and Central districts.
Under a Total Fire Ban no fires can be lit from midnight tonight (Sunday), through to midnight Monday. This includes all campfires, bonfires and both liquid and solid (e.g. charcoal) fuel barbecues.
CFA State Duty Officer Peter Lucas said conditions would be hot across much of the state, and strengthening and gusty winds late tomorrow meant that any fires burning would have potential to burn through the night.
“What we’ve seen so far this season is that fires are running hard,” he said.
“The drought has had a serious impact in terms of drying out the landscape – bush, grass and other vegetation are ready to burn.
“We believe any wind we see tomorrow will cause fires to spread hard and fast – that’s based on experience so far this season, not just in Victoria but in South Australia and WA.”
Mr Lucas described the Total Fire Ban (TFB) declarations as a ‘heads up’ not only for Monday, but for Tuesday, when fire conditions will worsen.
“No decisions have been made as yet but it’s likely we will see TFBs declared in a number of districts on Tuesday,” he said.
For Tuesday, Severe Fire Danger has been forecast for at least five districts: Wimmera, North Central, Central, South West, and West & South Gippsland.
“We know that many families have the ‘severe’ level of Fire Danger Rating as the basis for their leave early plan – so right now those families will be thinking about where to go and what to do on Tuesday,” Mr Lucas said.
“For those families and households in bushfire risk areas that do not yet have a plan linked to the daily fire danger rating, I’d strongly urge you to have a serious think about this now.
“Especially if you’ve got children at home for school holidays, it might be too late to leave in these conditions after a fire has already started.
“This year we've seen that leaving early works.”
To get to know the rules around what is and isn’t permitted on a day of Total Fire Ban, visit 'Can I or Can't I?' on CFA's website.
Author: CFA Media