Plan to leave now
Ahead of the extreme heat day predicted for tomorrow (Monday 30th Dec), Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp has released this statement:
Residents and visitors to East Gippsland should leave now as fire danger increases
There are three significant fires burning in the forest in East Gippsland near Bruthen, Buchan and Bonang. It is likely that these fires will impact communities tomorrow when the weather is forecast to be very hot, dry and with strong gusty winds. Under these weather conditions the fires in East Gippsland will grow significantly in size and it is possible that they will burn from the forest towards the coast, potentially crossing the Princes Highway. If this happens the Princes Highway will be closed for some time. Tomorrow’s extreme fire and weather conditions also means there is a risk of new fire starts as a result of dry lightning. Any lightning strikes in dry, drought affected forests have the potential to quickly become fires that threaten lives and homes. “If you’re planning on visiting East Gippsland today or Monday, don’t do it. If you’re already visiting East Gippsland, you need to leave the area today. It is not possible to provide support and aid to all the visitors currently in the East Gippsland region, and if the Princess Highway is impacted, you may not be able to leave for sometime. If you live in East Gippsland, you need to move to safer locations” said Andrew Crisp, the Emergency Management Commissioner. “It is absolutely critical that you are connected to emergency information and warnings and listen to the advice of emergency services” said Mr Crisp. Parks and forests will be closed in East Gippsland but the fire risk is broader than just this area. There is a statewide risk as the fire danger ratings are into extreme across most of Victoria. We encourage everyone in East Gippsland to register with Register.Find.Reunite online at register.redcross.org.au as you leave the area. This will assist both the emergency services and allow your loved ones to know you are safe. During an emergency you may lose power. Fires can damage phone networks so you may not have phone reception. Plan ahead so you have a multiple ways to receive information during an emergency. Victorians are reminded to connect to multiple sources for emergency information, including the VicEmergency app, www.emergency.vic.gov.au, tuning in to emergency broadcasters including commercial and community radio stations or Sky TV or by phoning the VicEmergency hotline on 1800 226 226 and following VicEmergency on Facebook and Twitter.