Tomorrow, Saturday, January 6, 2018 has been declared a day of Total Fire Ban throughout Victoria by the Country Fire Authority (CFA) as Melbourne is forecast to reach 42 degrees.
Extreme Fire Danger is forecast for the Mallee, Wimmera, South West and Central weather forecast districts.
The central district includes metropolitan Melbourne to the southern fringes of the Kinglake Ranges whilst severe fire danger is forecast for Northern Country and North Central forecast districts, including the rest of the Kinglake Ranges.
Tractors, chainsaws, mowers and machinery should only be used if absolutely necessary.
“This wind change presents its own danger should there be fire as winds will come through and fan [it] in an unpredictable way,” a CFA spokesman said.
“The coming hot and windy conditions will make it difficult for firefighters to suppress a fire should one start.”
Ambulance Victoria state health commander Paul Holman said the weather on Saturday would be like a “blast furnace” and urged people to “respect the heat”.
“Put off the sporting events, put off the outside events,” he said.
Camp fires, fires for warmth or personal comfort are banned during Total Fire Ban Days. Solid and liquid fuel barbecues and ovens (including hangis) are also banned during Total Fire Ban Days.
You can only use a barbeque or similar if;
• the barbecue uses only gas or electricity and is a permanently fixed structure built of stone, metal, concrete or another non-flammable material designed exclusively for meal preparation, or is designed and commercially manufactured exclusively for meal
preparation (including portable barbecues), and when alight is placed in a stable position
• the area within a distance of 3 metres from the outer perimeter of the barbecue is clear of flammable material
• you have either a hose connected to a water supply or a container with at least 10 litres of water for immediate use
• an adult is there at all times when a fire is alight who has the capacity and means to extinguish the fire, and
• the fire is completely extinguished before the adult leaves.
The Bureua of Meteorology forecasts ‘very hot and sunny [conditions] across western and central districts on Saturday with fresh and gusty north to northwesterly winds.’
A squally southwesterly cool change will develop over southwest Victoria in the afternoon and reach central districts including the Kinglake Ranges later in the evening.
CFA advises that you should:
- Action your Bushfire Survival Plan now.
- Monitor the fire and weather situation through your local radio station, (774kHz AM ABC Local Radio, 97.7FM ABC Goulburn-Murray or 94.5 UGFM Kinglake) and monitor www.emergency.vic.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au.
- Call 000 (Triple Zero) in an emergency.
If in an area of severe fire danger the CFA recommends you prepare your bushfire survival kit and finalise your plans immediately.
For further information on preparing for bushfires go to www.cfa.vic.gov.au.
The Total Fire Ban is Victoria’s first for summer 2017-18.
At 9:30pm, it’s 22.4 degrees in Kinglake at 55 per cent humidity.