Mallee Prepares for Hot, Windy Weather
Firefighters are on standby and asking the public to stay informed as hot, windy weather is forecast for Victoria's Mallee for the rest of the week.
Forest Fire Management Victoria (FFMV) Mallee District Manager Phil Murdoch said the Bureau of Meteorology is predicting a top temperature of 44 degrees for the region, with wind gusts of up to 30 km/h on Saturday January 6. “The forests and parks are already very dry and the Fire Danger will reach extreme,” Mr Murdoch said. “Forest Fire Management Victoria has crews on standby as well as two fire-fighting aircraft ready to respond from the Forest Fire Management Victoria airbase at Linga. “Boat patrols will be out on Thursday and Friday along the Murray River ensuring campfires meet regulations and everyone is doing the right thing. “We’re urging anyone going camping, especially on Saturday, to be very careful and plan ahead. “Before heading out, make sure you plan ahead and have an escape route in case you are cut off by a bushfire”. “Check the weather conditions and if it is a Total Fire Ban (TFB) do not have a campfire. It is illegal to light a campfire on a TFB day”. “With people on summer holidays, there’ll be plenty of campers enjoying the Mallee’s terrific parks or the river and we want them to have a great time and be safe. “People must be careful, especially when it comes to campfires as gusty winds will easily carry embers out of a campfire and into the bush.” Campers are urged to undertake the following campfire safety measures (If not a TFB):
Use a purpose-built fireplace where provided, otherwise light your campfire in a trench at least 30cm deep. Ensure the trench is no larger than one 1 square metre in size and the area around the trench is cleared of flammable material up to three metres in all directions, including above the campfire.
Branches and logs on your campfire must be less than one metre long – keep your fire just big enough for warmth and cooking.
Never leave a campfire alight or unattended. You must maintain a 50-metre line of sight of the campfire at all times.
An adult must be present at all times when the campfire is alight.
Ensure your campfire is completely extinguished using water not soil.
“It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure they follow the campfire safety rules. “Don’t let your campfire become a bushfire," Mr Murdoch said.