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Authorities warn Victorians to expect days of heightened fire danger

Today is a day of Total Fire Ban for the north central and central districts in Victoria, with fire authorities warning a period of heightened fire danger will remain for the next few days.

February 6, 2013 4:16am

Fire authorities are bracing for a prolonged period of heightened danger across the state in the coming days.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said the peak of the fire season had only just arrived and lack of rain had completely dried most areas of grassland and bush across Victoria.

‘‘The forecast for the coming days is for hot, dry weather with Fire Danger Ratings either severe or very high,’’ he said.

‘‘In these types of conditions, if a fire starts and takes hold, it may be uncontrollable.

‘‘Traditionally, we know that February is a bad month for fires. While we have had a reprieve from the heat last week, it will only take a few days of hot weather like we have coming up next week, to be faced with severe or extreme fire danger again.’’

Weather data shows rainfall across the state during the past month was well below average.

‘‘This combined with heavy fuel-loads caused by rains and flooding across the state over the past couple of years means we are faced with a serious fire risk,’’ he said.

Stay informed through cfa.vic.gov.au, by listening to ABC local radio and designated emergency broadcasters, by using the FireReady smartphone application, calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800240667 or visiting an accredited visitor information centre.

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