|The first Total Fire Ban for the season has been declared for the Mallee tomorrow, Thursday 18 November 2021.
A Fire Danger Rating of Severe is forecast for the Mallee tomorrow, with hot and dry conditions, and temperatures reaching the mid-30s. Strong and gusty northerly winds have been forecast before a strong and gusty westerly wind change and risk of thunderstorms moving into the west in the afternoon.
A Very High Fire Danger Rating is forecast for Wimmera, High for Northern Country and South West, and Low-Moderate for the remainder of the state.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the Total Fire Ban has been declared ahead of the hot and windy conditions expected across the Mallee tomorrow.
“Tomorrow’s conditions could make it difficult for firefighters to suppress a fire should one start, therefore we are asking people to take heed of the Total Fire Ban conditions,” he said.
“People need to be aware of the increased fire danger and ensure your fire plan covers all possible contingencies.”
While this year’s fire season outlook indicates a lower risk of prolonged bushfires, grass and crop fires remain a high risk across the state after average-above average rainfall and strong fuel growth.
“Overall, we’ve had milder conditions leading into this fire season, but we can’t afford to be complacent about these hot and windy days where the fire danger spikes.
“Grass and crop fires are prevalent this season and can move at speeds of up to 25km per hour and jump highways,” Chief Officer Heffernan said a Total Fire Ban means no fire can be lit in the open air or allowed to remain alight from 12.01 am to 11.59 pm on the day of the Total Fire Ban.
Strict rules also apply to the operation of farm machinery, chainsaws and lawnmowers, and residents in Mallee and Wimmera, in particular, are encouraged to take extreme care tomorrow.
Farmers undertaking harvesting are encouraged to follow a Voluntary Grain Harvesting Guide developed by CFA and Victorian Farmers Federation that recommends ceasing harvesting at suggested triggers.
Victorians should also make sure they have access to more than one source of information in the event of an emergency, including:
- ABC local radio, commercial and designated community radio stations, or Sky News
- The VicEmergency App, website www.emergency.vic.gov.au and Hotline 1800 226 226