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Media Releases

Severe Conditions Hitting Victoria

POSTED: 
9 February 2017

Severe heatwave conditions are forecast across the state, with temperatures set to climb to 44 degrees in the north.

Heat Health Alerts have been issued today for all northern sections of the state, including East Gippsland, Mallee, North Central, Northern Country, North East and Wimmera regions.

The combination of heat and strengthening northerly winds has seen an increase in fire risk, with Severe Fire Danger Ratings for the Mallee, Wimmera and Northern Country and Very High to High Fire Danger Ratings for the rest of the state.

State Response Controller Steve Warrington said Total Fire Bans were declared in the Mallee, Wimmera and Central districts, with a focus on the significant grassland risk around Melbourne.

“Emergency services are on standby and ready to respond to both fire and heat related incidents,” said Mr Warrington.

“We have 58 aircraft on standby today, and we are paying particular attention to dry grasslands close to urban fringes, which have the potential to move rapidly.

“If you live in an urban fringe area and a fire starts, remember the safest option is to move two streets back.

“We also have a number of outdoor events happening across the state, including the Southern 80 water and ski racing event in Echuca-Moama.

“It’s important that people attending these events know the fire risk, keep hydrated with water, avoid sun exposure and ensure any campfires are completely extinguished before they leave.”

State Health Commander Paul Holman urged Victorians to be prepared for the hot weather by making sure they were hydrated and watched their alcohol intake in the heat.

“Heat is one of the biggest impacts on our communities,” said Mr Holman.

“There are simple precautions everyone can take to minimise the impact of heat, such as reduce your activity, stay hydrated, check on family and friends and never leave kids or pets in hot cars.”

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