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Victorian personnel return home after battling Queensland fires

POSTED: 
6 December 2018

The majority of Victorian firefighters and emergency management personnel who were deployed to Queensland last week will return to Melbourne today.

67 personnel, including 39 from Country Fire Authority, 16 from Forest Fire Management Victoria (which includes Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and Parks Victoria) and 2 from Victoria State Emergency Service, will arrive in Melbourne this afternoon following a deployment to assist local crews manage multiple, significant fires burning in the north and central parts of the state.

The remaining 9 Victorian personnel deployed will return home tomorrow, signifying the end of Victoria’s deployment and involvement in the Queensland fire fight.

A total of 163 Victorian personnel have been deployed to Queensland over the past week, of which 126 personnel performed firefighting roles and 37 personnel performed specialist emergency management and liaison roles.

State Response Controller and Victoria State Emergency Service Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch said the Victorian personnel deployed to Queensland have done an outstanding job in assisting local crews manage significant fires in very challenging conditions.

“Our firefighters and emergency management personnel are highly skilled and we are glad we could offer a helping hand  to our Queensland colleagues, who have faced unprecedented fire conditions over the past week,” Mr Wiebusch said.

“We thank those deployed for their efforts and their ongoing contribution as Victoria’s weather and fire risk increases over the coming months.”

It is has been the hottest start to December in 24 years for Melbourne, with temperatures set to soar into the high 30's across Melbourne tomorrow and reaching the low 40’s in the north of the state.

“We remind Victorians to plan ahead for the hot weather. Schedule activities in the coolest part of the day,  drink plenty of water and check in on others who may be at risk in the heat,” Mr Wiebusch said.

“The risk of fire is also elevated tomorrow. Take the time now to understand and know the risks in your local area, have a plan for what you and your family will do in the event of a fire and know where to access the latest emergency information.”

Download the VicEmergency app or visit www.emergency.vic.gov.au for more information.