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No time for complacency with hot weather ahead

6 January 2017

Victorians are being reminded the risk of fire is still present, with hot conditions ahead on the weekend.

State Response Controller, Stephanie Rotarangi, said that despite recent rainfall across the state, forecasts indicate very high fire danger on Saturday in most areas of the state as once lush grass has now dried out. 

“The risk of dangerous fast-moving grass fires has increased and, as we’ve seen, these fires can run very quickly once going and cause real damage in a short period of time,” she said.

Loddon Mallee Regional Controller, Scott Falconer, said while it’s been a relatively quiet fire season so far there is no room for complacency, citing the recent example of holiday makers leaving camp sites without extinguishing their campfires.

“In central Victoria over the coming days we are facing high temperatures, a chance of lightning and, critically in terms of fire risk, high winds,” he said. 

“It’s disturbing that we’ve seen reckless campers leave campfires unattended — I don’t think it’s possible to convey the severity of the danger posed by such thoughtlessness.

“If you’re camping we ask you to show common sense, know the latest restrictions and consider if you really do need that campfire. If the answer is yes, always have an adult attending the fire and ensure your fire is fully extinguished with water, not soil, and cool to touch before you leave.

“If you’re mowing, do that mowing in the morning, the risks of igniting a fire rise sharply once the day starts warming up. Activities such as using an angle grinder, or anything else that creates sparks, should only be undertaken with caution.

“Whether you’re a local resident, working in primary industries or a holiday maker heading to enjoy our wonderful parks and forests, one thing that must unite us is a focus on preventing fire.”

Victorians are urged to enjoy themselves in the outdoors with the hot conditions ahead but it is important to remember that this comes with a level responsibility at this time of year.

For emergency information, Victorians are reminded to visit, download the new VicEmergency app, phone the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226, listen to local ABC radio, SKY news and keep an eye on social media.