An outbreak of small fires in the south-west on Wednesday afternoon has prompted the CFA to urge people to be very careful when burning off during Thursday and Friday.
CFA south-west regional commander Peter Creak said while fire restrictions would not come into force in the south-west until Monday, he hoped people would not burn off on Thursday if forecast warm and windy weather came through.
Mr Creak said while the south-west had received some rain during November, the landscape was drying out fast.
Warm temperatures are also forecast for Friday when Mr Creak said people should also be cautious of burning off and on the look out for any rekindling of previous burn offs.
His warning came after the CFA said a burn off got out of control on a property off the Warrnambool-Penshurst Road at Warrong on Wednesday afternoon.
The small grass fire was reported about 3.15pm but was brought under control about 3.45pm.
Three CFA units responded to the fire.
Earlier another small fire broke out on the Framlingham Forest Road at Framlingham.
The small fire burnt grass and scrub. It was reported at 2.10pm and brought under control at 2.30pm. The Framlingham, Grassmere, Purnim and Wangoom brigades responded to the call out.
A small grass fire also broke out near Koroit on Nine Mile Creek Road near its intersection with the Kirkstall-Koroit Road just after 4pm this afternoon. Three units responded and the fire was brought under control quickly.
Mr Creek said the Koroit fire possibly started from a rekindle of a previous burn off.
The fire danger period will commence in Warrnambool, Glenelg, Moyne and Southern Grampians shires from Monday, weeks after Corangamite.
Warrnambool CFA station officer in charge Paul Marshall said extra safety measures should be taken during the fire danger period.
“If anybody is planning on burning off, now is the time to do it, ahead of the fire danger period commencing,” he said.
“There is high fire danger during this time of the year. This is a reminder to clean up around your yards, even those living in town, and take important measures to ensure your own safety and the safety of your neighbours.
“For people in rural areas, it’s important to have a plan to leave if you need to; keep an eye on the Emergency Vic app and be on alert for any fire warnings for your area.”
Mr Marshall said restrictions meant residents were unable to burn off without a permit.
“Permits will be issued on an as-needed basis. For those who do plan to burn off between now and Monday, ensure you have adequate water and measures in place to contain the fire.
“Make sure you contact Vic Fire and notify them, as that will save any CFA responses to reported fires that are in fact a burn off."
Mr Marshall said the fire restrictions went beyond burning off in the backyard.
“If you plan on having a barbecue, make sure you check the gas connections, the hose and the regulators – ideally with a spray bottle and soapy water,” he said.
“Check to make sure everything is in good condition because gas barbecues are often the cause of fires, certainly in and Warrnambool and the rest of the state.
“And for those using farm machinery, make sure it has been maintained. If you are operating in a paddock in country areas, you are required by law to have fire extinguishing equipment - usually a nine-litre water extinguisher or a knapsack.”
Information on what you can and can’t do during the fire danger period can be found on the CFA website.
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