‘Very high’ fire risk today

TEMPERATURES are expected to approach 40 degrees across Gippsland today (Tuesday), bringing a Very High fire danger rating and a Total Fire Ban throughout the region.

Thirteen fires are still listed as “going” in parts of east Gippsland including Club Terrace, Goongerah, Tamboritha, Gelantipy and Danes Track north of Bairnsdale.

Despite the good rain late last week, flights over the fire areas revealed many “hot spots” where fire continues to burn.

Department of Environment and Primary Industries and Country Fire Authority crews continue to strengthen containment lines around these fires in preparation for today’s weather.

Regional fire controller Anthony Costigan said today’s weather would mean that any of these fires had the potential to spread.

With many Gippslanders returning to work or school after holidays, fire agencies encouraged people to ensure their fire plans are up to date.

“We have many weeks left of summer and many more fire danger days to come,” Mr Costigan said.

“I urge people to consider what they will do if these fires threaten communities or if a new fire starts somewhere.”

People who are intending visiting parks or forests in east Gippsland this weekend should check to see if a public safety zone has been implemented in the area they intend to visit. Check the DEPI website, www.depi.vic.gov.au/forestry-and-land-use/forestry-management/public-safety-zones.

A public safety zone means a particular area of public land is closed to all visitors.

For more information on forest road and track and National Park and State forest closures visit the Parks Victoria website, www.parkweb.vic.gov.au, and check the public access map on the DEPI website, www.depi.vic.gov.au/forestry-and-land-use/visiting-parks-and-forests.

For more information on fires or planned burns in Victoria and general fire safety, phone the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on freecall 1800 240 667. Callers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech / communication impairment may call textphone / telewriter (TTY) on 1800 122 969.

Also tune into local ABC and commercial radio stations.