A state-wide Total Fire Ban will commence on Friday 20 December 2019 following fire restrictions announced across for Northern Country and North East Districts yesterday.
The Total Fire Ban means that in the whole state of Victoria no fires can be lit in the open air or be allowed to remain alight in the open air, including campfires and burn-offs anywhere between midnight and 11.59pm today.
The Bureau of Meteorology forecast extreme heat for the whole state, with temperatures expected to reach the high 40’s in the north.
A gusty, southwesterly change late on Friday night will bring a heightened fire risk.
Today, the Fire Danger Ratings are Severe across the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country and South West, and Very High across the rest of the state.
State Response Controller Gavin Freeman said that while Victoria’s fire agencies and emergency managers are on alert and prepared for the conditions, the community cannot be complacent and should prepare to help prevent fires.
“We urge all Victorians to be aware that fires can happen anywhere and without warning, and to make their plans accordingly. Fire agency crews are well prepared and it’s extremely important that the community is also prepared, not only for the next couple of days, but for the months to come,” Mr Freeman said.
“Hot and dry conditions are expected across the north - with escalating fire risk across the state on Friday as temperatures soar into the high 40s in some places. We already have several fires burning in East Gippsland and we certainly want to avoid any new fires starting,” he said.
Mr Freeman said Victorians should take action to protect themselves from the heat and look after those most at risk.
“This includes your neighbours living alone, the elderly, the young, people with medical conditions and don’t forget your pets,” he said.
“Stay aware of your surroundings and if you’re travelling or in unfamiliar places, make sure you are aware of the local risk. Know how to stay informed and never rely on one source for emergency information.”
Fire restrictions are in place in most Victorian municipalities, with the last remaining restrictions coming into effect on Monday. A full list of the restrictions is available on the CFA website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au.