GANNAWARRA Shire is about three weeks out from the start of the Fire Danger Period, and Campaspe and Loddon shires aren't far behind.
The Country Fire Authority today announced fire restrictions in parts of the North West region.
The Fire Danger Period starts at 1pm on October 21 in Gannawarra Shire.
Campaspe and Loddon shires enter the Fire Danger Period from 1am on November 4.
The Fire Danger Period in all three shires is scheduled to end on May 1, unless otherwise stated.
The period in which fire restrictions apply is determined by local conditions, including fuel moisture, fuel loads, grassland curing, weather and rainfall.
Fires cannot be lit in the open air without a written permit from the CFA or a Municipal Fire Prevention Officer during the Fire Danger Period.
Penalties can include 12 months of imprisonment or being fined more than $19,000.
CFA District 20 acting operations manager Mick Lavery said residents still had a few weeks to clean up their properties.
He said the CFA had a zero-tolerance approach to any fires that started from negligent behaviour once the Fire Danger Period came into effect.
"Expect any fire you start to be fully investigated by CFA and Victoria Police," Mr Lavery said.
He said winter rains had resulted in plenty of vegetation growth across the district.
"This will become a high fire risk throughout the summer if not properly managed," Mr Lavery said.
"Reducing fuel loads will ensure that if a fire does break out, it has less chance of taking hold or spreading."
"While CFA and its partner agencies Parks Victoria, Forest Fire Management, DELWP and Emergency Management Victoria are doing everything we can to prepare for the bushfire season, we look to the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing fires."
He said people needed to be aware if they were using fire to clean up around their properties that they needed to register the details with the VicFire Burn-off notification line.
"So far this year, out-of-control burn-offs and unregistered burn-offs have already caused unnecessary call-outs to for brigades," Mr Lavery said.
"You should not burn off when winds are high, or high winds are forecast - not only on the day of your burn but for the days afterwards.
"For information about other restrictions specific to your area, consult your local council."
Mr Lavery said people could visit cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/canor call the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 for more information about permissible activities during the Fire Danger Period.
To reach the VicFireBurn-off notification line, call 1800 668 511.
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