Fire risk still very real


With temperatures set to soar across the state this Labour Day long weekend, CFA is urging Victorians to be prepared for persistent fire risk as they embark on their travels.

Recent fires in February across the Grampians, Beaufort and Dereel serve as a reminder the fire season is not over yet and communities need to be prepared.

Although the fires are now under control, crews remain active on the fireground blacking out and working on hazardous trees.

CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan encouraged travellers to familiarise themselves this weekend with the fire district they are entering or basing themselves in.

“While the recent bushfires have been contained by our incredible firefighters, fire risk will continue to linger over the coming months,” he said.

“With the lack of recent rain, fuel loads in our drier forested areas will increase, and our greener grasslands will continue to dry out.

“We know there is a slightly elevated chance of a drier than usual autumn, and we’re already seeing that this weekend with temperatures set to reach high 30s and low 40s.

“Victorians simply need to be in tune to the fire and weather conditions around them.”

The Australasian Fire and Emergency Service Authorities Autumn Seasonal Bushfire Outlook released last week indicates Victoria had above average summer rainfall and less than average bushfire activity, little to no rainfall since mid-January shifted things significantly in the west of the state.

CO Heffernan expects grassfire risk will persist throughout March and reminds all Victorians to download the VicEmergency app to remain alert to the fires in their region.

“Grassfires can move at speeds of up to 25km/h and can jump highways, so you must be prepared to alter your route if required,” he said.

“Avoid driving through high-risk areas on hot, dry, windy days if you can, and monitor conditions through two or more sources of local information.

“We’re particularly asking those living in the western part of the state, or those who plan on travelling in that direction to regularly check the Fire Danger Ratings.”

As the Fire Danger Period is still in place across all municipalities across the state, community members are reminded to visit CFA’s ‘Can I or Can’t I?’ webpage to understand what activities they can undertake.

Safety tips for this long weekend:

For travel safety tips, visit

Check the Fire Danger Rating by visiting

Download the VicEmergency app for real-time updates about emergencies across Victoria.

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 and website

The VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226

Victorians can find out “Can I or Can’t I?” information at