After a tragic week of blazes across Victoria and NSW, the CFA is urging people across the region to be extra vigilant during upcoming high fire-risk days.
District 16 active duty officer Ian Morley told The Courier on Thursday afternoon despite large fires such as Lexton and Avoca now being under control, residents needed to do all they can to help prevent more fires.
"The next two days are going to be hot with moderate to fast winds," he said.
"We are very concerned about the risks the conditions pose... we do not need any additional fires."
Due to the massive fires burning in the north-east and Gippsland, where 18 people are still missing, firefighting resources have been stretched thin and Mr Morley urged people to be aware of the present fire risks.
"We have a lot of resources committed across the state... our crews in the district are very tired so we are urging people to be aware of the fire risks currently present.
"In these conditions, fires can start very easily and travel very quickly... we've seen the devastation across the state and the country, we don't need any more fires."
Mr Morley was however pleased with the way both the Lexton fires and Avoca fires have progressed, adding both were firmly under control.
"The current status of the fires at Lexton and Avoca is that they are controlled, but not yet declared safe.
"We're just making sure any hot spots that may be present are well patrolled and looked after. The local brigades are out every day looking for hot spots and occasionally finding them and dealing with those.
"With the weather coming up on Friday and Saturday, it is possible for a few more hot spots to reignite but we're pretty confident the local brigades can manage those if they pop up."
With resources stretched so thin, firefighters have voiced their frustration surrounding suspicious fires in high risk areas.
Firefighters were called to a car fire at Haddon on Wednesday night, located around 30 metres away from a hay shed.
Station Officer at Lucas Fire Station John Carmody said the car was believed to be stolen and was set alight on the side of the road.
Firefighters and others who were first on the scene worked to extinguish the fire that had spread into grass beside the car.
Mr Carmody said people should take responsibility for their own actions as they could be held accountable for starting a fire.
Temperatures and winds are expected to increase in Victoria on Friday and Saturday, heightening the fire risk.
Keep an eye on the fire danger levels and abide by fire danger period restrictions.John Carmody, Lucas Fire Station
The CFA has declared a 'very high' fire danger rating on Friday and 'high' fire danger rating on Saturday in Ballarat and the central district.
On the other side of the state, the fire danger rating on Saturday will be 'severe' in east Gippsland and 'extreme' in the north east.
Friday and Saturday is currently not a total fire ban day in the central district, but has been declared a total fire ban in other parts of the state.
Mr Carmody reminded residents to be mindful of the community information and warning at home and when travelling.
"Keep an eye on the fire danger levels and abide by fire danger period restrictions," he said.
A recklessly lit or abandoned fire is a crime that carries severe penalties.
The maximum penalty for arson causing death in Victoria is 25 years imprisonment. The maximum penalty for intentionally or recklessly causing a bushfire is 15 years imprisonment.
- With Rochelle Kirkham
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