A Total Fire Ban (TFB) has been declared for the Mallee and Wimmera fire districts for tomorrow, Tuesday 1 December 2020.
Tomorrow’s conditions in the Mallee and Wimmera will be hot and dry, with temperatures reaching as high as 35 degrees in Mildura and only a few degrees cooler across the rest of the north west parts of Victoria.
Strong northerly winds have been forecast, before a westerly wind change during the afternoon that is expected to bring damaging wind gusts.
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. It will be Low-Moderate in Central and South West and High in the rest of Victoria.
Deputy Chief Officer Alen Slijepcevic said the weather conditions meant an elevated fire risk across the 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.
DCO Slijepcevic urged Victorians to abide by the law, which says that during a TFB 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.
“It was disappointing to see a number of deliberately lit fires during Saturday’s Total Fire Ban, and I really hope we don’t see that again tomorrow,” he said.
CFA volunteer firefighters responded to several burn-off and recreational bonfires that were lit during the Total Fire Ban in Mallee, Wimmera and Northern Country on 28 November, including burn-offs and backyard bonfires.
“That’s dozens of volunteer hours spent putting out unnecessary and dangerous fires, and we really urge people to stop being reckless with their own safety and that of others,” DCO Slijepcevic said.
Several fires last week were also caught by farm machinery such as headers used during harvesting.
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.