Firefighters chasing smoke sightings

The CFA asks residents to refrain from reporting smoke sightings after services were flooded with triple-0 calls on Saturday morning. 

Bendigo operations officer Bruce Quarrier said although there was not much fire activity in the Bendigo region, firefighters chased smoke sightings. 

"There was a small fire caused by a lightning strike at Eaglehawk cemetery about 12.30am," he said.

"It was contained quickly.

"With the alerts going off on the FireReady app, combined with the smoke that had blown over from the Grampains, a lot of people were calling triple-0 to report a fire.

"We ask people to refrain from reporting smoke sightings.

"Only report a fire if you can see flames. 

"Still remain vigilant and check outside for any change in conditions but hold off on dialing triple-0 if you just see or smell smoke."

Mr Quarrier said residents should keep a close eye on the warnings on the FireReady app, the VicEmergency website and listen to their local ABC radio station. 

"Emergency warnings will be issued via those avenues," he said. 

Meanwhile, Bendigo resident Jody Hardiman is urging Australians to thank firefighters by putting a red balloon on your mailbox on February 28.

The Facebook event 'Red Balloons To Thank Our Courageous Firefighters throughout Australia. National THANK YOU Day' said placing the balloon on your mailbox was a way to say thanks.

Ms Hardiman said the CFA did not get enough acknowledgement for what it does. 

"If CFA are out and about on February 28 and they see the red balloons they they will know that we are all thinking of them," she said. "They work so tirelessly.

"I was evacuated during the Black Saturday fires, it was terrifying. I think they are very brave."

Ms Hardiman created the Facebook event on Saturday and by Sunday it had already attracted more than 20,000 invites. 

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