Do you understand what the signs at the Gisborne roundabout and the fire station are telling you? What about the electronic signs on the freeway? Who looks after them? When are they adjusted?
The last two questions are that members of the Gisborne CFA Brigade adjust the signs each afternoon, usually around 5 pm. All members of the brigade receive a paged message each afternoon with the fire danger ratings for our area from district headquarters, along with fire weather forecasts. Delegated members are then given the responsibility of ensuring that the signs are adjusted to match. The electronic signs are centrally adjusted and not under the control of the brigade.
The Fire Danger Rating predicts how a fire would behave if one started, including how difficult it would be to put out. The higher the rating, the more dangerous the conditions. The rating is your trigger to act, so to stay safe you need to stay aware of the Fire Danger Rating in Gisborne. You can see the ratings any time at http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/total-fire-bans-and-ratings/
CFA has declared Total Fire Bans across all of Central district, including Gisborne for Wednesday, 25 November.
High winds and heat will also push Fire Danger Ratings into Extreme and Severe levels across much of the state, with the Mallee, Northern Country, Wimmera and North Central forecast as Extreme, while South West, Central and North East districts will be Severe.
CFA Chief Officer Joe Buffone said strong and gusty northwesterly winds peaking at up to 100km/hr were forecast before a gusty change in the afternoon in the west and central areas.
“Tomorrow we are expecting strong winds before a change in the late afternoon and possible dry thunderstorms,” he said.
“Although it has been a mild start to the week, we are bracing for a dangerous fire day tomorrow in most of the state.”
Between 00:01AM and 11.59PM on Wednesday no fire can be lit in the open air or be allowed to remain alight in the open air.
Mr Buffone urged families and households in fire risk areas to make sure they had covered all the key decisions about what will they will do if they have to leave quickly.
Please begin to think carefully about your own fire plam. A good resource is http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/grassfires-near-cities-and-towns/ to find out more about managing the risk you face.