Travellers urged to stay safe in severe fire danger this long weekend
Friday 25 January, 2013
While enjoying Australia Day celebrations this long weekend, people travelling across the state are being urged to check local fire conditions before they leave and to stay informed.
Very High and Severe fire danger is forecast for Thursday with hot and windy conditions to continue through the night and into Friday morning.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said this Australia Day long weekend, people needed to be aware of fire conditions, including Fire Danger Ratings and Total Fire Bans and should decide what they would do in the event of an emergency.
“This includes staying informed throughout the weekend. As we know, conditions can change rapidly and you need to be ready to act under the threat of fire,” Mr Lapsley said.
“Often when people are travelling they are less aware of the local conditions and risk and because they are holidaying, are a lot more relaxed.
“It is extremely important heading into these severe fire conditions that you keep on top of weather and fire conditions. Decide your trigger to leave and don’t wait until it’s too late.”
Mr Lapsley reminded the public a number of fires were still burning in the east of the state at Aberfeldy, near Heyfield and at Harrietville and said these blazes would be monitored closely tomorrow and throughout the weekend.
“Residents in these areas should also be aware for the potential of these fires to spread and the importance of keeping up to date with local warnings and advice,” he said.
“Never rely on one source for information – Visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au, phone the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on 1800 240 667, listen to emergency broadcasters; ABC radio, commercial radio and designated community radio stations, SKY News Television and follow CFA via Twitter (@cfa_updates) and Facebook (/cfavic) or the FireReady app.”
There is a wealth of alternative holiday activities away from fire affected areas. Local accredited Visitor Information Centres and accommodation providers across the region are well placed to inform visitors with options.
Due to current fires, Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) and Parks Victoria are also advising closures of a number of national parks and state forests.
Due to the nature of the fires, road closure information can change quickly. VicRoads advises all motorists, especially those in affected areas or those planning to go away this long weekend, to check the up to date road closure information before they travel at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au
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