The Fire Danger Period will begin at 01.00am on Monday, 14 December 2020 for the following municipalities in District 16 in CFA’s West Region:
- Ararat Rural City – remainder (South)
- Pyrenees Shire Council – remainder (South)
The latest Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Victoria, released on 26 November, identified due to significant grass growth, 2020/21 has the potential to be more of a grassfire-dominated season.
It indicates that Victoria is likely to experience a less severe bushfire season this summer compared to last summer – particularly in the east of the state.
The outlook is due to average to above average rainfall during spring, combined with an outlook of above average rainfall for much of Victoria from December to February, particularly across the northern parts and mountain regions, due to the influence of La Niña.
Considering the outlook and current conditions, the fire season has the potential to be a grassfire-dominated season, with shorter-duration fires in grass and dry forests during hotter and windier days.
Potential for above-normal grassfire activity has been flagged for north-east border areas in December, due to the heavy grass and crop fuels prior to harvest.
Some Victorian forests may remain damp enough to experience average to below-average fire activity.
CFA reminds Victorians not to be complacent as an average fire season in this state can still be a bad one.
CFA District 16 Assistant Chief Fire Officer (ACFO) Bernie Fradd said the recent good rains have generated abundant growth in grasslands and crop.
“Once these fully dry out the potential for significant fires in the local area cannot be underestimated,” said ACFO Fradd.
“There is still time to ensure homes and properties are well prepared. Mowing or slashing grasslands and clearing undergrowth can all be still done safely, and I urge residents to use the next few weeks to undertake this important work.
“It is also very important to check any burn-offs that have been done over winter to ensure they are fully extinguished.
“This means raking over the ash and coals to ensure there are no hot spots or smouldering logs or roots, as it is not uncommon for large piles and burn offs to continue burning unnoticed for months only to escape when we have hot, dry and windy conditions later in the year.
“While CFA and our partner agencies Fire Rescue Victoria and Forest Fire 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.”
ACFO Fradd said 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 callouts to brigades,” ACFO Fradd 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.