Victoria to face ‘catastrophic’ weather conditions not seen since Black Summer

Victoria to face ‘catastrophic’ weather conditions not seen since Black Summer

Victoria is expected to face catastrophic weather conditions not seen since the 2019-2020 Black Summer fire season

Extremely hot, dry and windy conditions are forecast tomorrow across the majority of the state, with wind gusts of up to 80 kilometres and thunderstorms expected.

Kevin Parkin from the Bureau of Meterology has warned it will be the first time since November 2019 that the state has experienced such dangerous conditions.

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“I’ve been in this game for a number of years and these conditions are the worst I’ve seen since the 2019-2020 summer fire season,” Parkin said.

Speaking to media this afternoon, he said the communities most at risk were in the Wimmera region, but the entire state was facing dangerous conditions.

Temperatures are expected to reach into the late 30s and early 40s across Victoria paired with dry and extremely windy conditions.

The extreme weather will be followed by thunderstorms and lightning, heightening the risk of bushfires.

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Total fire bans will be in place across the state and multiple schools are expected to be closed.

The state’s regional train service VLine is also reducing transport timetables on the Bendigo, Echuce and Swan Hill train lines.

Victorians have been warned to avoid unnecessary travel and to avoid national parks in the state’s west such as the Grampians National Park and the Grange State Forest.

Chris Hardman from Forest Fire Management Victoria said fire conditions on catastrophic days could be “uncontrollable and fast-moving.”

“Do not visit parks and forests and if you’re there, get out tonight,” he said.

”It’s really important that people don’t visit, particularly in those areas in the Wimmera.

“If fires start in those areas, they can quickly become uncontrollable and your life will be in danger.”

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Fire crews will be on standby across the state and water-bombing aircraft will be placed in strategically-located areas.

Authorities have warned power outages may happen and have urged people to keep an eye on the Vic Emergency app, as well as their emergency broadcaster.

CFA chief officer Jason Heffernan said the conditions were among “some of the worst” firefighters had ever seen.

“We’re calling communities to be aware of conditions tomorrow,” he said.

“Whilst those communities in the Wimmera need to be aware, any area from Melbourne to the west needs to be alert.

“These fire move fast and they can jump roads with fast. Should a fire take hold, it’ll move incredibly fast.”

Emergency warnings can be followed via the Vic Emergency website and app.

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