Driving in fire must be avoided

Last Tuesday (October 3) in Stratford at 4.30am, before the region was bombarded with rain. Facebook: Rachael Hooft.

DRIVING during a bushfire is extremely dangerous and leaving early is the best way to avoid this situation.

If visibility deteriorates and it becomes unsafe to continue driving, motorists should pull over. The use of hazard lights and parking off the roadway will help avoid collisions, which are common during bushfires.

If encountering a fire where turning around is not possible, drivers should park away from dense bush and position the vehicle to minimise exposure to radiant heat. A wall or rocky outcrop may provide a good barrier from the oncoming fire front. The car should ideally face towards the fire.

Occupants should stay in the car, with windows and doors closed tightly, covered with woollen blankets and positioned below window level. As soon as the fire front is close-by, vents should be closed, and the engine turned off.

Never drive on flooded roads. Driving on flooded roads is dangerous, and it doesn’t take much to make your car become unstable, lose traction or wash away.

The Department of Transport and Planning have thanked passengers for their patience during this time. Advice around the current fire and severe weather situations across the state is available at emergency.vic.gov.au

Real-time traffic conditions are available at traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au

The latest public transport information and network status is available at ptv.vic.gov.au or in the PTV mobile app.