As 15,000 tourists converge on Warrnambool this summer, fire agencies are warning of heightened risk and urged residents to guard against complacency.
With severe heat wave conditions predicted over the New Year period, CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan urged sea-changers heading to the regions to stay updated on fire conditions.
"A wet winter and spring is now behind us and December has been very dry in large parts of Victoria," he said.
"On hot, dry and windy days like the ones we are expecting this weekend, anyone in regional areas of Victoria needs to stay alert to conditions.
"For anyone planning to travel this weekend, it's really important to make sure you know which fire weather district you will be in and travel through.
"You also need to look at the fire danger ratings daily and if it is severe, reconsider your need to travel. Don't travel to areas with an extreme or code red fire danger rating."
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Private company Forest Fire Victoria spokesman Rod Incoll said holiday-makers posed one of the greatest dangers to regional Victoria including coastal areas like Warrnambool.
"Holiday-makers are one of the greatest hazards because they normally come from an urban area, so often they're basically not fire-wise," he said.
"Most of the country people have some idea of what to do to keep fires safe and when to light them and when not to light them.
"There will be plenty of days in which we can get fires running, it doesn't need to be a big fire that takes a lot of houses - even a small fire that starts in scrub could be quite traumatic for people camping in the area and can destroy their assets."
He said he feared Warrnambool's relatively small history of large-scale bushfires had the potential to also create complacency.
"The fact that there have not been many fire or injuries on the record leads to complacency," he said.
"All you need for a fire is dry fuel and an ignition source.
"Anywhere there's vegetation like coastal scrub is particularly hazardous, especially when you get people who aren't fire-wise who think nothing of having a campfire and then walking away and leaving the site or go to bed in their tent and leave the fire running without ensuring the safety of their fire.
"There's a lot of small stuff that can lead to big stuff."
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