DOUSED: Warracknabeal CFA member, Cory Bentley, mops up a fi re suspected to have been caused by a cigarette butt on Friday at the rear of the VicRoads yard in Warracknabeal.
DOUSED: Warracknabeal CFA member, Cory Bentley, mops up a fi re suspected to have been caused by a cigarette butt on Friday at the rear of the VicRoads yard in Warracknabeal.

Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighters are on standby and asking the public to stay
informed as hot and windy weather conditions are forecast across all of western Victoria
this weekend.

Grampians Regional Manager Forest and Fire Operations, Taina Scott said: “With
temperatures rising into the mid-30s accompanied by north to north westerly winds gusting
to 40 km/hr, a Total Fire Ban has been declared for Saturday 17 March in our Wimmera
and Central weather districts, as well as the neighbouring South West, North Central,
Northern Country and Mallee.”

“In preparation for predicted weather conditions, our emergency services are preparing for
a challenging weekend with Forest Fire Management Victoria firefighters on standby, and
Incident Management Teams (IMTs) in place at Incident Control Centres located at
Horsham, Ararat and Ballarat,” Ms Scott said.

“The fact that IMTs are in place means that if needed, these teams can quickly provide
incident information to the community that is timely, relevant and tailored to assist them
make informed decisions about their safety.

“We are urging the community not to be complacent this weekend and to have a plan –
know what you will do if a fire is near you.

“Our forests and parks are already very dry.

“We strongly urge the community to consider the value of visiting local forests or parks
during periods of high and extreme heat as they can be extremely dangerous under these
conditions.

“People camping in parks and near rivers and wetlands are reminded to stay informed
about the weather and to monitor what is happening around you.

“Remember, it is illegal to light any fires when a Total Fire Ban day has been declared.

“That includes campfires and all BBQs, including solid and liquid fuel barbecues, as well
as unconventional heat sources such as rotisseries and portable grills.”