26 September 2023

Fire restrictions in force across State

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Fire restrictions are now in effect across all Victorian municipalities under Country Fire Authority (CFA) Fire Districts.

CFA Chief Officer, Jason Heffernan said despite widespread rainfall late-last year, Victorians should not become complacent about increasing fire risk as vegetation continued to dry out rapidly across the State.

CO Heffernan said that while the final municipalities to move into fire restrictions had seen a delayed start to the fire season, the areas could expect high fire risk conditions in coming weeks.

“We have already seen many of our crews respond to significant fast-spreading grassfires and we can expect these incidents to become more frequent as we experience warmer and drier conditions throughout February,” CO Heffernan said.

“The run of warmer weather this month has led to the grassland curing across the State, which has contributed to increasing fire potential.”

He said the latest outlook for Victoria suggested the fire season was expected to be normal, except for parts of central, north east and eastern Victoria where the potential was below normal.

“Victoria is one of the most fire-prone areas of the world and even an average season can result in dangerous and damaging fires,” CO Heffernan said.

“CFA crews have also responded to a number of illegal burn-offs out of control during the fire danger period so far this season, which serves as a timely reminder for people to make sure they understand what the restrictions mean for them,” he said.

“Make sure you know what you can and can’t do during the Fire Danger Period (FDP), especially when it comes to barbecues, campfires, chainsaws, farm machinery, welders and other items that present a fire risk.”

CO Heffernan said no burning off was permitted during the FDP without a Permit to Burn, which could be applied for through the Fire Permits Victoria website.

He said there were very strict conditions attached to these permits and the liability sat with the permit holder to ensure they always acted safely.

The Fire Permits Victoria website can be accessed at this PS News link.

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