Weekend Fires Reminder of Summer Dangers to Come
Anglesea CFA mopping up after fuel reduction burn in 2004
Sunday 18 November 2007
More than 20 small fires began across the state yesterday and were a timely reminder of the major fire risk that Victoria faces this year, the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) has warned.
Lightning strikes sparked numerous fires but all were kept small, thanks to the quick actions of firefighters on the ground. None of the fires have so far threatened communities.
DSE State Duty Officer Mark Woodman said today that the outbreaks provided an indication of just how tinder dry the state's parks and forests are.
"Even though conditions were relatively mild in Gippsland yesterday, and Gippsland has had recent heavy rainfall, we have had multiple outbreaks of small fires across that region," Mr Woodman said.
"This emphasises the sorts of challenging conditions we are facing this summer, with the impacts of eleven years of drought to confront and the absolute absence of any moisture in the ground," Mr Woodman said.
He said that there are 244 people, 86 slip on units, 9 fire tankers, 10 bulldozers and 17 aircraft currently dedicated to the fires. More resources are expected to be added throughout the day as more lightning strikes occur.
There are currently 10 going fires, in the Bendigo, Mildura, Erica, Orbost, Cann River and Bendoc Fire Districts, with more being reported.
The largest is a four hectare fire in the Mildura District, 53 kilometres north northeast of Murrayville.
"With summer just days away it is critical that all Victorians prepare for the threat of bushfire," Mr Woodman said.
Forecast conditions for high temperatures and more unstable weather are expected to continue into Monday and Tuesday.
For information on fires in your area, please call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on (free call)
- 1800 240 667
- or visit DSE's website: www.dse.vic.gov.au/fires
Source: Department of Sustainability and Environment Media Release