As the mercury climbed to 27 degrees, crews from across the district were called out to blazes from Ararat to Bacchus Marsh.
Disappointingly, a least two fires near Creswick, one on Sunday which burned out three hectares in the Creswick Forest and another in Oak Gully Road on Monday, were both believed to be deliberately lit.
Another fire in the Ballarat-bound lanes of the Western Freeway at Myrniong, which started just after 1.30pm forced delays along Western Freeway, as the fire, fanned by north-westerly winds, moved towards Pykes Creek.
The fire burned out scrub and threatened properties alongside the freeway before brought under control.
It is understood the Western Freeway blaze could have been started by a discarded cigarette butt.
CFA Region 15 Operation Duty Officer Gavin Hope said it showed just how easily it was for fires to take hold.
He said he was particularly disappointed by the actions of the some people who set a car alight on Sunday.
“In this day and age, you just cannot condone that behaviour at all,” he said.
“It burned out three hectares and was in the path of the Creswick RACV resort if we hadn’t have brought it under control when we did.
“It took a number of hours to extinguish and we’ve still got crews patrolling. It looks like we’ve had another one today, which is very disappointing.”
He was equally unimpressed with Mondays avoidable incidents.
“It’s senseless. What do you tell these people who light fires and throw cigarette butts out their windows.”
Fire restrictions are in place throughout the Ballarat region until May 1. The CFA has not yet advised Golden Plains Shire regarding the commencement date of the fire season in that region.
It comes as the CFA release a survey showing that half of Victorians living in areas at high risk of bushfire think the risk to their home is moderate, minor or non-existent.
CFA’s Bushfire Community Survey, undertaken annually since 2009-10, showed that 52 per cent of this year’s respondents considered the risk moderate, minor or non-existent.
Worryingly, a third said they would only leave when a fire threatens their town or suburb rather than the morning of or night before a day of extreme fire danger.
CFA Acting Chief Officer Stephanie Rotarangi said Victorians who were underestimating the risk or who left it too late to leave were risking the safety of themselves and their families.
“It’s important to get your head around what the real risk is to you and your friends and family, how to minimise it and what to do when there is a bushfire emergency,” he said.
The most recent Seasonal Outlook shows that October rainfall was generally below to very much below average across Victoria.
“If rainfall trends continue, this season will be in line with Victoria’s driest seasons increasing the risk of bushfire,” Acting Chief Officer Rotarangi said.
“It may not impact you or your family directly, but what if it does?
“People need a plan; exactly what are you going to do for your family, for your kids, your partner or parents, your loved ones, pets, other animals if a fire occurs and a fire truck may not be able to get there? Start having the conversations now.”
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