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Severe fire conditions to continue across the state

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07 Feb 2013
Fire authorities are ramping up firefighting resources in key hotspots across the state in preparation for the continued spell of hot weather this week.

A Total Fire Ban has been declared for the following six districts – Northern Country, North East, North Central, Central, West and South Gippsland and East Gippsland.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said higher temperatures and strong winds are increasing the fire danger right across the state.

“The weather conditions, combined with heavy fuel loads and dry fuels, pose a serious fire risk,” Mr Lapsley said.

Hundreds of DSE and CFA career and volunteer firefighters, firefighting vehicles and aircraft continue to work on the Harrietville and Aberfeldy fires, which together have burnt out more than 80,000 hectares.

“Two Erikson Aircranes - Elvis and Gypsy Lady - are ready to be dispatched from Essendon and Ballarat across the state as required. A third Aircrane, Malcolm, on loan from New South Wales, continues to operate on the Harrietville fire,” Mr Lapsley said.

“These three giant helicopters can drop approximately up to 9000 litres of water each and along with another 39 aircraft strategically positioned across Victoria, and an additional 150 on call, they are ready to provide first response aerial support to our on-the-ground firefighters.

“In these hot, windy and dry conditions, if a fire starts and takes hold, it’s very difficult to control.

“Everyone who lives in high fire risk areas should to be alert to weather conditions, talk to neighbours, listen to ABC local radio, commercial and designated community stations, check and the FireReady app, or call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line for official warnings and information about bushfires.”

For residents in areas where the fires are still going, it's important to understand how quickly conditions can change, and to decide early on if the best option is to leave.   

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