High fire season alert
FIREFIGHTERS are urging residents to prepare for a severe fire season, with the risk of devastating bushfires expected to exceed that of last year.
Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley has urged all Victorians to prepare themselves ahead of the inevitable fire season which authorities believe will hit the region early in December.
District 7 operations officer Pat Geary said unique weather conditions meant this fire region was facing two different risks — with the west and south part experiencing heavy rains and excess growth, while the eastern area had had no rain, leaving dried-out fuel.
“In the south there is a lot of fuel so it could create a fairly dangerous scenario. We are expecting a grassland fire season that may be quite intense,” Mr Geary said.
Fire agencies began their preparations earlier this year with the Bureau of Meterology’s seasonal forecast — for November through to January — predicting warmer average temperatures throughout Victoria.
The 2017 southern Australia seasonal bushfire outlook says the severity of early bursts of heat on north-westerly winds across the state depends on rainfall and daily maximum temperature in South Australia’s northern pastoral districts during spring.
Mr Lapsley said Victoria’s dry winter and relatively warm temperatures were the underpinning issues elevating risk.
“We are in for a hot dry period so that tells us we have everything (condition wise) for another fire season,” he said.
Mr Lapsley launched Fire Action Week yesterday.
He said it was a time for all households to increase their understanding of local fire risks, and to prepare their properties and plan how to stay safe.