The Labour Day long weekend will be an opportunity to travel and enjoy Victoria’s getaway destinations, but CFA is urging people to be prepared and remain vigilant around fire.
While conditions are expected to be milder across the weekend, vegetation is extremely dry across most of the state, particularly in the south-west, west, central and north-west regions.
CFA expects the grassfire risk to remain across the state in the coming months so Victorians need to remain alert and prepared.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan encouraged travellers to familiarise themselves with which fire district they are travelling to and stay informed about fire conditions.
“We have seen major grassfires take hold in recent weeks, particularly in central parts of the state, so while summer is behind us the fire risk is still lingering,” he said.
“Before you hit the road, download the VicEmergency app and monitor for any potential fires happening in your area.”
CO Heffernan also reminded Victorians that all local government areas in CFA fire districts are still under fire restrictions.
“Everyone must make sure they are aware of what fire restrictions mean and what activities are and aren’t prohibited – for the best advice, visit the Can I, Can’t I webpage on the CFA website,” he said.
“There’s also no excuse to leave campfires unattended this long weekend. We want to avoid being called out to abandoned campfires and it’s crucial the community extinguish their campfires properly with water, not soil, to prevent campfires from turning into fast spreading grass and bushfires.”
The new fire danger rating system is now nationally consistent across every state and territory.
The system has reduced the number of danger levels from six in the previous system, to four; Moderate, High, Extreme and Catastrophic.
Victorians can learn more about the new fire danger rating system on the CFA website.
To learn more about campfire safety, visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/campfires and to learn more about fire restrictions, visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au/can.
Safety tips for this long weekend:
- For travel safety tips, visit: cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/staying-safe-when-you-travel
- Check the Fire Danger Rating by visiting www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/total-fire-bans-and-ratings
- Download the VicEmergency app for real-time updates about emergencies across Victoria.
- 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
- Victorians can find out “Can I or Can’t I?” information at cfa.vic.gov.au/can or by calling VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226.
- Don’t light a campfire on a Total Fire Ban Day or on other hot, dry and windy days.
- Never leave a campfire unattended – stay within 50m and in sight
- Campfires must be extinguished with water, not soil, as fires can still smoulder under soil. If a fire is cool to touch, it is safe to leave.