Fire agencies urge caution as fire risk increases

Fire agencies continue to prepare for increased fire risk across Gippsland for New Year’s eve and are urging the community to do the same.

With thousands of families enjoying the Gippsland bush and coastal areas over the Christmas and New Year period, emergency services are concerned the increased number of campers combined with the forecast hot, windy weather and the increased amount of reported illegal fireworks may put communities at risk.

Many Gippsland locations are expecting Very High Fire danger conditions over the New Year, communities and tourists alike are urged to be cautious and prepared.

Regional Fire Controller Mike Owen urged everyone to understand the increased fire risk and to behave responsibly.

“Unattended or illegal campfires and illegal fireworks are a significant risk at this time of year,” Mr Owen said.

“Given the forecast for the coming days and our experience across the state over the past week or so we are urging people to be very cautious, make sure that camp fires are safe and simply don’t use illegal fireworks.

“Don’t put yourself and others at risk this New Year.”

Health authorities have also issued a heat health alert for people in the Central and North Central districts for Thursday.

They advise to:

For information on fires in Victoria and general fire safety, phone the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667. Callers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech/communication impairment can phone VBIL via the National Relay Service on 1800 555 677.

Non-English Speaking Background callers should phone the Translating and Interpreting Service on 131 450 and ask them to telephone VBIL. If you know someone who cannot speak English, provide them with this number.

People should also tune in to their emergency broadcasters: ABC Local Radio, commercial radio and designated community radio stations or SKY NEWS Television.

For road closures check the VicRoads website

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