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Friday fire threat leads Parks Victoria chief to ask visitors to stay out of parklands tomorrow

February 26, 2009
Friday fire threat leads Parks Victoria chief to ask visitors to stay out of parklands tomorrow

People should avoid visiting or camping in national parks or other reserves tomorow (Fri Feb 27)..

Mark Stone, Chief Executive of Parks Victoria, today said that Friday would be a day of extreme fire danger and that Victorians should avoid all non-essential travel.

All Victorians thinking of visiting a park should reconsider their plans and stay out of bush and parklands, Mr Stone said.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast high temperatures and north-westerly winds. The wind is expected to change to a strong south-westerly later in the day with lightning strikes that could cause more fires.

While the south of the state is expected to be milder on Saturday, the northern areas will continue to face ongoing high fire danger.

We ask all Victorians to be aware of the safety issues throughout this fire season. This also includes the risk of heat stress, falling trees in strong winds and water safety when visiting the coasts, rivers and lakes, he said.

We urge park visitors to please review their plans to visit bushland and park areas this Friday.

Many key visitor sites and parks in high risk areas and those already affected by fire will be closed in the interests of public safety. This includes Wilsons Promontory, visitor sites in the Otways, Baw Baw National Park, Maroondah Reservoir Park, Bunyip State Park, Sugarloaf Reservoir Park, Kinglake National Park and

Walhalla Historic Areas. People can determine if a park is closed by checking the Parks Victoria website.

Mr Stone said Parks Victoria staff were actively fighting fires as part of the Governments Networked Emergency Organisation coordinated through DSE.

More than 850 of our staff are trained for fire roles. Our rangers are at the fire-front. Their focus is on containing and controlling these fires. This Friday is not a day to get out into our parks.

This warning and park closures mirror the warning issued prior to Saturday 7 February 2009.

All visitors are asked to refrain from lighting campfires this weekend, particularly during days of Total Fire Ban which carries heavy penalties.

To check which parks are open call the Parks Victoria Information Centre on 13 1963 or visit www.parkweb.vic.gov.au. Be prepared and stay tuned to your local ABC radio station.

For information on bushfires call the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667 or visit www.dse.vic.gov.au/fires or www.cfa.vic.gov.au . For fire and weather reports stay tuned to your local ABC radio station.

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