FIREFIGHTERS have called on people to comply with fire danger period regulations, warning that human activity caused most fires.
It followed the Country Fire Authority declaring Bendigo's fire danger period will begin on November 11.
CFA District 2 commander Chris Jacobsen said people caused the majority of fires.
Mr Jacobsen said Bendigo's forests were dry and grasses were curing, despite the rain over the weekend. He said the area was starting to see fires.
But Mr Jacobsen said it took an ignition source to start a fire. He said the coming fire danger period's outcome depended on the behaviour of the public, even on cooler days.
"It's human activity that causes the majority of our fires. You can have fuels and different conditions. But if you don't have the ignition source you don't have fires," Mr Jacobsen said.
"The restrictions are in to prevent ignition of fire. Because we're now in the period, in the wrong conditions fires can get away and damage property or injure, and even potentially kill, people."
The Fire Danger Period will begin 01.00am on Monday 11 November 2019 for Greater Bendigo City Council.— CFA Updates (@CFA_Updates) November 3, 2019
Fire Restrictions will be in force and it is important you are prepared and know what you can and can't do. Visit https://t.co/qTT4P4ne58 🔥 pic.twitter.com/u5zWDPZdWs
Mr Jacobsen warned that private burn-offs at the start and end of the season caused the most problems for firefighters.
He urged anyone burning-off to put fires out with water, monitor them, and have a three metre break.
The start of this year's fire danger period will be several weeks later than the 2018 period, which was the earliest start for the district in more than 20 years.
Mr Jacobsen said the start date was based on the conditions and curing of the grassland. He said rain over the weekend bought some time, but days, not weeks.
He said the variation in landscape - plains to the north, hilly country, forested areas to the south - meant Greater Bendigo would have some sort of fire season yearly.
Forest Fire Management Victoria regional manager of fire and emergency preparedness Carsten Nannestad said the organisation was recruiting and training firefighters ahead of the fire season.
He said FFMVic ran an extensive planned burn program every spring and autumn to reduce fuel loads on public land.
Read more: Bendigo records driest start in 15 years
Mr Nannestad said FFMVic was also making sure all machinery and vehicles were serviced and ready to go.
He urged community members to tidy up around their property, make sure fires are not lit on dangerous days and plan for high fire danger period.
District 2 operations manager James Dullard said the CFA, Parks Victoria, Forest Fire Management Victoria and Emergency Management Victoria were doing everything they could to prepare for bushfire season.
But he asked the community to use common sense and take responsibility for preventing bushfires.
The CFA has a zero-tolerance approach to any fires begun by negligent behaviour once the fire danger period is in effect.
Mr Dullard urged people to register any burn-off at 1800 668 511.
The fire danger period begins across the City of Greater Bendigo on Monday November 11 at 1am.
Loddon and Campaspe shires entered their fire danger period on Monday November 4, at 1am.
More information about restrictions is available at: cfa.vic.gov.au/warnings-restrictions/can/
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