District prepares for total fire bans and summer heat

Fire-banTODAY is a day of total fire ban for Colac and south-west Victoria, with another ban likely for Saturday as temperatures soar.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a top of 38 degrees today, with a top of 36 degrees tomorrow.

Country Fire Authority community education co-ordinator Sharon Linke said Victoria was one of the most fire-prone areas in the world, and fires could travel quickly on a bad day.

“Smoke on the horizon can be a fire in your immediate surrounds within minutes,” Ms Linke said.

“When people are planning trips to forests and national parks, they need to check out the weather conditions, which could be significantly different to their home location,” she said.

“Thankfully most people have never experienced the intense and terrifying experience of facing a bushfire. Its impact shouldn’t be underestimated,” she said.

Visitors to the area should check the Vic Emergency website, download the Fire Ready app for smart phones, call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line, and listen to emergency broadcasters, to be aware of fire warnings and alerts.

Ms Linke emphasised that people shouldn’t wait for a warning or message from emergency services.

“Plan your holiday activities around the fire danger rating. If it is severe or extreme, consider heading for the beach, going shopping, or visiting a gallery.

“Avoid hiking and travelling in the hottest part of the day when fires can start and spread more quickly.”

People travelling along the Great Ocean Road, or the Hamilton and Princes highways should be aware they could enter a different fire weather district, with different warnings in place.

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