A TOTAL fire ban has been declared for today across the south-west, although weather forecasters predict showers and rain in the afternoon.
The region’s dry paddocks and bush area pose a significant risk, with thunderstorms and lightning predicted ahead of the weather change.
Colac, Hamilton and Mortlake are expected to exceed 30 degrees this morning, with a 90 per cent chance of showers, while Warrnambool is tipped to hit 28, Port Fairy 26 and Portland 24.
Municipal fire restrictions are also in force and have been scheduled to remain until May 1.
The Country Fire Authority has given the south-west a “very high” risk rating for today and also declared total fire bans for Central, Mallee and Wimmera regions.
People living in at-risk areas have been advised to activate their bushfire plan.
CFA deputy chief officer Greg Esnouf said the regions were still hot and quite dry.
“This should serve as a warning sign for the rest of the state too,” he said.
Subject to exceptions, no fire can be lit in the open air or be allowed to remain alight in the open air.
Firefighters were yesterday morning mopping up after a grassfire had earlier threatened communities at Carlisle River, Charleys Creek, Gellibrand, Wimba, Lovat and Kawarren.