A Total Fire Ban (TFB) has been declared for the Mallee and Wimmera fire districts for tomorrow, Saturday 5 December 2020.
Tomorrow’s conditions in the Mallee and Wimmera will be hot and dry, with temperatures reaching as high as 34 degrees in the north.
Warm, dry and fresh to strong northwesterly winds have been forecast, before a westerly wind change during the afternoon that is expected to bring damaging wind gusts before the temperature drops in the afternoon.
The combination of heat and strong winds will considerably increase the fire risk, resulting in a Fire Danger Rating of Severe for the Mallee and Wimmera regions, and Very High for Northern Country. The Fire Danger Rating will be High across the rest of Victoria.
CFA Chief Officer Jason Heffernan said the weather conditions meant an elevated fire risk across the West and North West.
“Tomorrow, the Mallee and Wimmera will experience elevated dangerous fire conditions, with a Severe Fire Danger Rating and as a result, we have declared a Total Fire Ban across the two districts,” he said.
CO Heffernan said there were particular concerns around harvesting activities causing fires and urged farmers to consider postponing harvesting work in the hottest and driest parts of tomorrow.
He also said that despite the milder conditions forecast for South West, there were concerns about gusty winds that may cause any burn-offs to get out of control of cause previous burn-offs to flare up.
“The Fire Danger Period has not yet started in most areas of the South West, so some people might be tempted to undertake burning off as part of their property preparations, but we would really urge them not to do so in Saturday’s conditions.
“Anyone who has done burning off in recent days should make sure the fire has been adequately extinguished to avoid flare-ups.”
A Total Fire Ban means no fire can be lit in the open air or allowed to remain alight from 12.01am to 11.59pm on the day of the Total Fire Ban.
Strict rules also apply to the operation of farm machinery, chainsaws and lawn mowers, and residents in Mallee and Wimmera in particular are encouraged to take extreme care tomorrow.