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22 January 2021
People travelling around the state on this unofficial Australia Day long weekend will have to contend with severe heat wave conditions from today.
Victorians travelling across the State will be faced with severe heat wave conditions from today, followed by increased fire risk and potential storm activity.
Heatwave conditions commencing across the north today are likely to build to a Fire Danger spike day on Monday with very hot and dry conditions ahead of a change.
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On Sunday, Very High Fire Danger Rating for all parts of the state except Central and West and South Gippsland districts which are high.
Monday will be Severe in the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country and North East districts, and Very High in the rest of the state except the South West which is likely to be high.
There are increased numbers of visitors across the state particularly in regional areas and increased visitation at campsites along waterways and beaches over the unofficial long weekend.
While it’s tempting to spend time outdoors, extreme heat can impact on people’s health.
Be safe in and around water including inland waterways, beaches or swimming pools. All waterways can mask hidden dangers.
Friday 22 January 2021 – Monday 25 January 2021
Heat Health Advice
·Heading to the beach? Always swim between the flags at patrolled beaches. If in doubt, don't go out.
·Check-in on others. Look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young, people with a medical condition and don’t forget your pets.
·It’s never safe to leave kids, adults or pets in cars because the temperature in a parked car can double within minutes.
·You must comply with coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions and directions which may depend on where you live and work, regardless of the temperature. This includes wearing a fitted face mask where it is mandatory to do so.
·With many people expected to be travelling across the state, a reminder to check weather conditions and warnings at your destination, before and throughout your stay.
o When travelling check the local emergency broadcasters for updates, and follow any advice or warnings.
o Check the VicEmergency App regularly for any changes to conditions in the area you are visiting.
o Monitor conditions in the area you are visiting and make sure you know what to do if there is a fire.
o Prepare to stay safe around water when visiting a beach, inland waterway or a pool
·Extreme heat speed restrictions are enforced when temperatures exceed 36 degrees in order to reduce the likelihood of train and track faults, while also keeping passengers safe. When an Extreme Heat Timetable is in place, journey times may be extended by a few minutes as we reduce the speed of our trains. Check timetables before leaving home.
·Victorians are reminded to check Fire Danger Ratings daily when they visit, travel through or live in high fire risk areas.
·There is increased traffic on roads across the state, particularly in coastal areas, check the VicRoads app for road closures or changes before you travel.
·Victoria is one of the most fire prone areas in the world. Campfires that spark or spread can easily become bushfires.
·If there are no relevant restrictions, ensure a 30cm trench is around the campfire, as well as a three metre ‘bubble’ around and above the site, clear of vegetation and flammable materials
·If the wind is strong enough to carry sparks, don’t light a campfire
·Before leaving your campsite, ensure your campfire is cool to the touch
·Approximately ten per cent of all bushfires are caused by campfire negligence, do not ignore campfire safety rules
·Unattended and unsafe campfires can result in devastating consequences – the risk is real, and all campers have a responsibility to know and abide by campfire rules.
·There have been 252 unattended campfires detected across the state between Dec 1, 2020 – Jan 18, 2021
·Check the weather before you head off. Consider rescheduling your visit during stormy weather or at times of high bushfire danger. Make sure you take plenty of water or check there is water available on site.
·Always choose a site under clear sky and avoid camping, parking, and picnicking near or under trees. Branches and whole trees may fall unpredictably, and at any time
·Ensure you have downloaded the VicEmergency App and pay attention to any warnings in the area, this could be for fire, flood, storms, or more.
·Ensure your campsite is away from bodies of water and on higher ground if heavy rainfall is predicted
·Keep our state forests and national parks as beautiful as you find them by not littering. There are no bins in forests or parks, so ensure you take your rubbish home
·Always let someone know before you go. You can always visit Victoria Police website for a trip intention form.
Day of Total Fire Ban
·If a Total Fire Ban is declared, all camp fires, including for cooking, warmth or personal comfort are banned.
·If a campfire escapes on a day of Total Fire Ban, emergency services may not be able to be control the fire due to a dangerous factors, such as severe heat and strong winds
·Ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to lighting fires on days of Total Fire Ban. Everyone needs to take responsibility to keep the community safe from bushfires
·The substantial penalties that offenders face, serve as a reminder that there are serious consequences for lighting campfires on days of Total Fire Ban
·All waterways can mask hidden dangers – be prepared:
o Visit lsv.com.au/summersafety to prepare for water safety before visiting the beach, inland waterway or pool this summer
o Check the Bureau of Meteorology app or bom.gov.au for local weather conditions and warnings
o Ask someone local who knows the conditions, such as a lifeguard or park ranger
·Wherever possible, swim between the red and yellow flags at one of Victoria’s 57 patrolled beaches.
·Remember to never swim alone, even if you are a confident swimmer.
·Men over the age of 45 are at the highest risk of drowning in Victoria – be aware of your current abilities and don’t underestimate the risks around water.
·Always watch children closely when they are in or around water – ensure under 5s are always within your arm’s reach and children aged 5-10 are always in your line of sight.
·If riverine or flash floods occurs where you are, ensure you never drive, walk or play in floodwater. It only takes 15cm of water to float a small car, and can contain dangerous debris