File photo. Picture: Lachlan BenceCFA District 15 operations officerAnthony Pearse says local firefighters are hoping for the best, but expecting the worse ahead of a scorching summer across the district.
Mr Pearse chaired a pre-summer briefing for Ballarat CFA’s volunteers on Wednesday night, where the concerning conditions were discussed.
“Everyone is well aware of the forecast weather for the summer, the lack of rain predicted and the impact it could potential have in making it a long, extended fire danger period,” Mr Pearse said.
“We’re prepared as best we can.
“There also needs to be constant connection with the community and we need to have people monitoring their ownbehaviour. That will make our job a lot easier.”
Mr Pearse said fire restrictions in Ballarat would soon be enforced, featuring a number of conditions including a ban on fuel and rubbish burn offs without permits.
“Fire restrictions are progressively rolling out across Victoria at the moment,” he said.
“Within Ballarat and District 15 it will be the first or second week of November, but a date is yet to be determined.”
Fire restrictions will be introduced in the Pyrenees Shire (District 16) from 1am on November 2.
Chief officer of the Country Fire Authority, Euan Ferguson declared the fire danger period would run until 1am on May 1 2016, unless otherwise varied.
Pyrenees Shire mayor Tanya Kehoe said that Victorians had already had a taste of the expected fire season ahead.
“This year we have already seen significant fire threatening land, lives and property and we can only expect more,” she said.
“It’s important to prepare your property for fire, but you also need to prepare yourself.Pack important documents, photos, medications, money and clothes so you can leave easily before a fire starts.”
Mr Pearse said the community shouldn’t be lured into a false sense of security by the recent cooler conditions this week, with respite over asthe weather finesup by the weekend.
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