Warm weather a timely reminder of approaching fire season

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Warm weather a timely reminder of approaching fire season

Category : Fire Safety

With hot temperatures forecast across the state this weekend, CFA is reminding Victorians that the summer fire season is just around the corner.

CFA State Duty Officer Craig Brownlie said although the weather conditions were not expected to be particularly bad for fires, he said the high temperatures were a timely reminder to be prepared for the fire season.

“Temperatures of up to 37 degrees have been forecast for some parts of the state over the weekend, and warm conditions are expected to continue into next week,” Mr Brownlie said.

“Victoria has experienced wet weather recently, but we shouldn’t be complacent.

“We live in one of the most fire-prone regions in the world and it only takes weeks or even days of hot, dry and windy weather to create dangerous fire conditions.

Mr Brownlie added that favourable growing conditions across Victoria in 2011 have promoted an above-average grassfire risk this fire season.

“Grassfires should not be underestimated; they can be extremely dangerous and cause death, trauma or serious injury,” he said.

Mr Brownlie said Fire Danger Periods had already been introduced in some areas, including parts of Colac and the surrounding area, and in Mildura. He said FDPs for other parts of the state would continue to be declared, and urged residents in high-risk areas to ensure they had a detailed and well-practiced Bushfire Survival Plan.

“Now is the time to protect your home and property by slashing, mowing, grazing, spraying and using herbicide, and creating fuel breaks by removing all fuel (vegetation) down to the soil. Living in a grassland area with dried-out brown or golden-coloured grass that is over 10cm high is a bushfire risk,” he said.

Mr Brownlie also urged people to take care while burning off over the weekend.

“To avoid brigades being called out unnecessarily by a neighbour or passer by, tell your neighbours when you plan to burn off andregister the burn with the CFA on 1800 668 511,” he said.

“People should also leave a three metre fire break, free of flammable materials around any burn off,” he concluded.

For information on how to prepare for the fire season, download a Fire Ready Kit, complete the Household Bushfire Self Assessment or find the location of Fire Ready meetings in your area at: www.cfa.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on1800 240 667.