Victorians have been warned to expect a "significant bushfire season", fuelled by substantial growth in grass and other vegetation after recent heavy rains.
The fire risk is expected to be highest in January and February after fuel dries off and temperatures rise, and emergency authorities have urged Victorians to be ready for the fires that will inevitably occur.
Central and western Victoria, including well-populated areas, have been identified as areas at particular risk this summer.
"The key issue for Victoria is central and western Victoria, where the grasslands meet the bush and where the grasslands meet communities," Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said on Monday, at the launch of Fire Action Week.
Mr Lapsley urged residents of fire risk areas to start cleaning up their properties now.
"One of the key things this year is to do your practical work. Cut the grass - but be prepared to do it again, because the regrowth could be significant. So, do the work in late October/early November, but be prepared to revisit it to make sure you are ready for our summer," he said.
Mr Lapsley said the aircraft fleet of 48 was "very practical, very responsive, but one of the best fleets that we'll see across the world."
Deputy Premier and Emergency Services Minister James Merlino said the state could expect "an above average fire season" despite the recent floods and drenching rains.
"I know it's been raining, I know it's wet, but that means growth. And growth means fire danger - so we need to start thinking about the upcoming fire season right now," he said.
He urged people to take "practical steps" around their homes and communities now, well before the fire season and its hot, windy weather arrived.
"Get rid of the dry grass, get rid of the twigs, get rid of any flammable material around your home, clean your gutters, cut down those overhanging branches. Do those practical things around your home that will make a difference, if there is a fire in your community," he said.
Mr Merlino said he visited the Cobram area over the weekend to inspect flood damage, where he was told by the local CFA they were ready for a significant bushfire season.
"A lot of water means that with a few weeks of dryness and heat, there will be extraordinary growth and the high risk of particularly grass fires in the summer season ahead," Mr Merlino said.
Environment Minister Lily D'Ambrosio reminded people living on the rural/urban fringe to be ready for the fire season.
"With the wet weather we will see growth of grass. And we know that with fire that is started in grasses, that it moves actually very rapidly and very quickly. And in particular for the urban interface areas, it is particularly important to be vigilant this coming summer to protect yourselves, your home and your community. So we're heading into an above-average fire risk season," she said.
By this time last year, fire had already devastated small communities near Lancefield, destroying four homes.