Ready and alert

AN aggressive fire in Glengarry West has been contained, but the worst may be yet to come with tomorrow flagged as a major fire warning across the state.

Three helicopters were called in to fight the fire on Rintouls Creek Road, Tyers on Tuesday morning and dumped 44 loads of water on the blaze before a bulldozer established a containment line.

With temperatures set to reach 39 degrees tomorrow and fire warnings ranging from very high to extreme throughout Victoria, the Country Fire Authority is on alert across the Latrobe Valley.

“Friday at this stage is the first hurdle we need to get over, so all of our crews in the Latrobe area will be at a heightened level of readiness,” Traralgon CFA officer-in-charge Peter Lockwood said.

“Given the curing, particularly in the eastern part of our district, and some of the recent dry weather we’ve had, it would not be unlikely that it would be a total fire ban (although that’s not our call).”

The CFA warned against breaching restrictions during the fire danger period following five significant and avoidable fires started in the past week by slashers in the Sale and Maffra areas.

All five fires were caused by tractors, slashers or ride on mowers that did not have the appropriate, and required, fire suppression equipment attached, prompting the CFA to take a hard line on machinery.

“There will be a no tolerance policy on burn offs or people slashing without the appropriate permits and fire protection equipment,” Morwell CFA operations officer Shane Mynard said.

“If people are found in breach of the requirements they will most likely be prosecuted.”

The CFA requires all self-propelled machinery to be equipped with extinguishers or knapsacks with the required water capacity, while harvesters and other large machinery should also be equipped with a shovel.

The Latrobe Valley’s fire restriction period is in effect until 1 May.

For more information about fire restrictions and warnings visit