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Fires a Risk to Metropolitan Areas

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12 Feb 2009
The Metropolitan Fire Brigade this afternoon responded to a large grass fire, burning in Banksia Park beside the Yarra River in Ivanhoe East.

Twelve fire appliances and over 40 firefighters attended. Fire efforts were hampered by a strong south easterly wind blowing at up to 30km per hour.

This outbreak follows a warning from MFB and CFA fire chiefs this morning, that all residents across metropolitan areas should not be complacent, and that the fire risk remains extremely high.

“The heatwave in late January left gardens and local parklands exceptionally dry, so the threat of bushfires extending into metropolitan areas is very real,” said Tony Murphy, Chief Fire Officer MFB.

“People in metropolitan areas need to understand they’re not immune from bushfires. They too need to prepare their property and have a fire plan. Fires don’t discriminate; last Saturday’s tragic events have proven that.

“While we are still busy battling these fires, it is important residents in metropolitan areas do their best to prepare their homes and businesses for fires.

“The weather is expected to heat up again early to mid next week, so we need all Victorians to co-operate and be as well prepared and informed as possible. Being prepared could save your life.”

For fire safety information:

Visit www.mfb.vic.gov.au/summerfiresafety or www.cfa.vic.gov.au

Call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667

What to do

The MFB and CFA are advising the public:

  • If you choose to stay, be prepared and have a fire plan or if you choose to leave, leave well before any immediate threat.
  • Listen for weather updates and fire news on ABC 774 radio
  • Road travel is extremely dangerous during fires, and it blocks roads preventing access for emergency services. If you decide to leave, leave early
  • Practise a fire escape plan
  • Ensure all rubbish stored outside is disposed of properly and not left to accumulate
  • Do not store raw materials, combustibles and stock close to dry scrub and park land
  • Keep lawns cut and remove leaves from gutters
  • Remove any overhanging branches and overgrown vegetation
  • Keep timber and rubbish away from fences, particularly where the fence borders any bush or park land
  • Have garden hoses connected to taps and ensure the hoses can reach all parts of your property

With the potential for fires to continue running for days and weeks to come, all Victorians need to remain vigilant.

For more information contact:

MFB 0409 354 077

CFA 03 5330 3124

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