Victoria on bushfire alert

Victoria on bushfire alert

26 March 2010

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Australia —   Western Victoria has been put on bushfire alert this weekend, with hot, dry weather expected.

Temperatures in parts of the state are tipped to hit the low to mid 30s on Sunday.

The fire danger rating is expected to reach the third highest level – severe – on Sunday in the Wimmera region, in the state’s west.

The north-west, central north, central and Melbourne areas of Victoria are forecast to be on the very high danger rating level.

State Control Centre spokeswoman Caroline Douglass said the west needs to be prepared.

“People need to understand that even towards the end of the bushfire season the risk of a significant fire is still very real,” she said.

“Over this weekend, it is important that those people in these areas monitor the weather and fire conditions closely.”

The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting strong, hot and dry northerly winds in the west, ahead of a change early Monday morning.

The Department of Sustainability and Environment will focus on strengthening control lines around recent planned burns in western Victoria.

“Crews will be blacking out hotspots and patrolling burns over the weekend,” Ms Douglass said.

“Communities and people visiting rural and regional Victoria should be aware that some smoke may be visible from these burns.”

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