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Victoria's first Code Red conditions

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10 Jan 2010
Emergency services are prepared for Code Red conditions in the Wimmera tomorrow (Monday) and in the North East and Northern Country on Tuesday in line with the Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast.

Code Red is the highest Fire Danger Rating and the safest option is to leave early if you are in a high risk area in one of these districts.

On Monday extreme conditions are forecast for several districts, including the Central district which covers Melbourne, Geelong and surrounding areas including the Surf Coast, Macedon Ranges, Dandenong Ranges, and Mornington Peninsula.

There will be a total fire ban across Victoria tomorrow.

State Controller Russell Rees warned Victorians to be prepared for the Code Red and extreme conditions.

“We want the community to be prepared for Code Red conditions in the Wimmera on Monday and Code Red conditions in the North East and Northern Country on Tuesday,” Mr Rees said.

“If you are in one of these districts and you in a high risk area, decide now where you will go and what you will do.

“The safest option is to leave early. Being on the road during a fire is a dangerous place to be.

“It’s vital that people listen to the radio, keep up to date with the weather and keep themselves informed.

“If you live in a high risk area and your plan is to leave, the safest option is to leave the night before or early in the day on a day when the Fire Danger Rating is Code Red in your district. On a Code Red day you can’t rely on being able to defend your home.

“It’s important to remember that extreme and severe are very serious Fire Danger Ratings as well. The safest option is to leave early in the day on a day when the Fire Danger Rating is severe or extreme in your district.”

DSE Chief Officer Ewan Waller said DSE and Parks Victoria have closed parks and forests in the Wimmera for tomorrow and have advised people that are camping in those areas to leave tonight or first thing in the morning and go to a safer area for the day.

“If you are travelling or plan to travel in bushfire prone areas you should monitor the situation and prepare to change your travel plans.

“Avoid any non-essential travel. People on holidays or away from home should closely monitor the weather and fire conditions in the areas they are visiting.”

Mr Rees said emergency services are ready for the potential Code Red days.

“CFA, MFB and DSE firefighters are on standby and Incident Control Centres are ready across the state.”

Victorians should monitor the weather and conditions with updated bushfire information available from the DSE and CFA websites, the Victorian Bushfire Information Line, your emergency broadcasters ABC radio, SKY news TV and commercial radio stations.

Visit www.cfa.vic.gov.au for updated information.

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