The Fire Danger Period will begin at 01:00 on Monday, 16 December 2019 for the following municipalities in CFA’s South West Region:
- Baw Baw Shire Council
- South Gippsland Shire Council
The Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Southern Australia released in late August identified potential for above normal bushfire activity across the coastal and foothill forests of East Gippsland, and there’s also a growing risk north of the divide extending into south east New South Wales.
A warm and dry outlook also carries some risk that ash forests in the central highlands and Otways may dry out faster and become more flammable than normal during summer. Across the rest of Victoria, normal bushfire activity is expected, but CFA reminds Victorians that even an average fire season in the state can be a bad one.
CFA District 9 Acting Operations Manager Emma Conway said low winter rainfall across most of Gippsland means there is less moisture in the soil than is usually expected.
“Even with the above average rain through November, we already see areas of the bush drying out as soon as wind gets on it,” Ms Conway said.
“While the spring rainfall has been welcome it has produced high levels of growth in the grasslands, which could very easily become a high fuel load throughout the summer season if not properly managed”
“While CFA and its partner agencies Parks Victoria, Forest Fire Management, and Emergency Management Victoria are doing everything we can to prepare for the bushfire season, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires.”
Ms Conway said there was still a short window of opportunity to clean up your property if you haven’t already done so.
“People need to be aware that if using fire to clean up around their properties they need to register these on 1800 668 511. So far this year, out-of-control burn-offs and unregistered burn-offs have already caused unnecessary call-outs to for brigades,” Ms Conway said.
“You should not burn off when winds are high or high winds are forecast – not only on the day of your burn but for the days afterwards. A resent case saw a burn that had been out for two weeks reignite and cause hours of work for our volunteer brigades”.