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Hot, dry forecast to increase fire risk

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Feb 11, 2022

People living in or travelling into regional areas especially across Northern and Western parts of Victoria have been warned by CFA to take care in the coming days as hot and dry conditions are expected to drive up fire risk from Sunday.

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a low-intensity heatwave from Saturday with hot, dry, northerly winds expected on Sunday before a dry, south-westerly wind change during late afternoon and evening. It predicts these hot conditions will continue across the north until Thursday.

As a result of the weather conditions, Fire Danger Ratings will start reaching into the Very High range across much of western and northern Victoria from Sunday. The elevated risk will remain for a number of days into the middle of next week, but Victorians are urged to check their local Fire Danger Ratings regularly as they can change daily.

CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said with temperatures expected to reach mid to high 30s across the north and west, combined with hot and dry winds on some days, Victorians need to remain prepared for fire.

“We urge anyone in regional areas of Victoria, particularly those in the northern, western and central parts of our state, to stay alert to conditions, make sure they have downloaded the VicEmergency app and stay informed.

“That includes anyone planning to travel this weekend and into next week. It’s really important to look at the Fire Danger Ratings of the areas you will travelling to and through. Setting up ‘watch zones’ in the VicEmergency app before you leave means you will receive warnings about any fires that may start near you.

“Make sure you know what to do if a fire starts near you and carry an emergency kit in your car.”

Chief Officer Heffernan also urged campers and farmers to be mindful of conditions and take care, whilst undertaking agricultural activities on and around their properties.

“Grass and stubble fires are prevalent this season with a number starting from machinery and vehicles or from roadsides. In some conditions these fires can move at speeds of up to 25km per hour and cross roads,” he said.

Safety tips:

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.
For travel safety tips, visit: cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/staying-safe-when-you-travel
Don’t travel to areas with an ‘Extreme’ or ‘Code Red’ Fire Danger Rating.
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. All burn-offs should be registered online at firepermits.vic.gov.au or with the VicFire Burn-off notification line on 1800 668 511.
CFA has a free, publicly available Bushfire Safety for Workers e-learning module on how to stay safe if faced with a bushfire situation.

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