Central and southern parts of Victoria are recording the most significant grass growth, with the potential risk of fast running grassfires continuing into autumn.
The outlook forecasts below average rainfall in the north and west, along with average to warmer than average maximum temperatures. A lack of rainfall coupled with warm and dry conditions could see the potential for bushfires in some forests.
Victoria remains well prepared for the potential of fires, with a mix of water bombing aircraft, air supervision and air intelligence gathering aircraft positioned across the state to support our dedicated volunteer and career firefighters on the ground.
Emergency services are keeping an eye on any changes in conditions, however the outlook of normal fire potential across most of Victoria is what we can expect in the autumn season.
The Australian Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for Autumn is developed by AFAC and supported by the Bureau of Meteorology along with state and territory fire and land managers.
It’s important for communities to understand their local risks. Local flood guides for your area can be found on the VicEmergency website (External link). You can also keep up to date with the Fire Danger Ratings on the VicEmergency app and VicEmergency website (External link).
To read the full Seasonal Bushfire Outlook for autumn 2023 visit the AFAC website (External link).
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp
“The recent Flowerdale and Buangor fires demonstrated just how fast grassfires can start and take hold. With the potential of below average rainfall continuing and warmer than average temperatures in autumn, we all must remain focused on the risk of fire across the state."
“It’s important you understand your fire risk and remain vigilant. Never rely on one source of emergency information. Download that VicEmergency app and tune in to your local emergency broadcaster.”
Quotes attributable to Country Fire Authority Chief Officer Jason Heffernan
“For the next month or so, we’re still facing a significant grassfire risk across the state with grasslands completely cured in most areas."
“Grassfires travel faster than you can run and can threaten lives and property. We ask community members to continue to monitor conditions, be aware of the Fire Danger Rating in your area and stay informed.”
Forest Fire Management Victoria Chief Fire Officer Chris Hardman
“We are dealing with the impacts of climate change and that means finding the right days for safe and effective planned burning is also changing."
“We look for opportunities to manage bushfire risk all year round, which includes planned burning and treatments such as mulching, mowing, slashing, spraying, and creating strategic fuel breaks."
“We ask visitors to our state forests and parks to take extra care with campfires and check the official weather forecasts and warnings at bom.gov.au and VicEmergency.”
Fire Rescue Commissioner Ken Block
“Fire Rescue Victoria is prepared and ready to respond to grassfires or bushfires that may occur throughout autumn."
"With below average rainfall and warmer than average maximum temperatures expected, we remind people not to be complacent about bush and grassfire risks, and to monitor the fire danger rating system and conditions in their area."
“If you live next to grasslands and a fire breaks out, walk two streets back. If you live more than two streets away, stay indoors with windows and doors shut and your air conditioner turned off.”
Victoria State Emergency Service Chief Officer Tim Wiebusch
"Though we expect rainfall to be lower than average, we know that a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. Heavy, isolated falls remain a risk to Victorians as they travel around the state, over Easter and through to ANZAC Day."
“If you encounter flooding over roads, take an alternative route and do not drive through it. Even where the floodwater is not deep, the road surface beneath may have torn away causing your vehicle to start floating, which is an incredibly dangerous situation."
"While we are in this period of drier weather, we remind Victorians to not become complacent, and encourage them to consider how they might prepare their property, their neighbours, and their community for adverse conditions. You can help by assembling an emergency kit, reaching out to your neighbour, and contributing to or joining your local VICSES unit."