Fast running grassfires will be a risk across Victoria this summer, with late winter and spring rains leading to significant pasture growth in paddocks and roadsides.
An update of the Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook released this week shows Victoria is expecting a normal fire season, with below-normal bushfire potential across the east, however the potential for grassfires is still very real across the state.
The delayed harvest due to recent rain, will heighten the fire risk associated with cropping, compared to previous years.
Normal fire potential is expected in grasslands and dry forests and short-duration fires are still likely to occur under the right conditions - hot dry and windy days.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said when grasses and crops are close to fully dry, there is potential for fire behaviour to rapidly escalate in elevated fire weather conditions.
"It's critical that if you live, work or are on the move to new areas, you must know and understand the fire risk near you. Know where you can go to get good information to make good decisions. Stay informed over summer - listen to information and warnings and be ready to enact your plan," he said.
During winter and spring, Victoria received average to above average rainfall, except the northwest and far west of the state. This has resulted in a later start to the fire season.
The current climate outlook for summer indicates above average rainfall in some parts of Victoria with generally warmer than average conditions in the west of the state and average conditions in the east of the state.
Forest Fire Management Victoria chief fire officer Chris Hardman said that unattended campfires are the cause of more than 10 per cent of all bushfires in Victoria.
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