Police are urging members of the public to stay safe and act responsibly ahead of a Total Fire Ban on Saturday 6 January 2018.

With extreme temperatures and strong winds forecast, Saturday is expected to be a day of significant fire risk.

Assistant Commissioner Debra Abbott of the State Emergencies and Security Command asked for the community’s cooperation in minimising fire risk.

“Emergency services, including police, are at the ready to ensure the community’s safety during this day of significant fire risk” she said.

“However, we are also asking members of the public to reflect on their own behaviour and how it might jeopardise the safety of others.

“A lot of people will be returning from holidays this weekend and we ask that they consider simple steps such as ensuring campfires are completely extinguished and cigarette butts are not thrown from car windows on the way home.

“Use of farm machinery and tools such as angle grinders and welders should also be avoided.

“Often it is the careless or reckless behaviours of individuals that can spark fires leading to the loss of life or property.

“If you see a person or vehicle behaving in a reckless or suspicious manner write down the vehicle details and contact police immediately on Triple Zero (000).

“Victoria Police has zero-tolerance for any behaviour, whether deliberate or reckless, which may cause a fire in the community.”

Anyone found guilty of recklessly or intentionally causing a bushfire faces a penalty of up to 15 years imprisonment.

Lighting a fire on a Total Fire Ban day can also attract a fine of around $37,000 or up to two years in jail.

Anyone with information should contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential crime report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

Source:  Victoria Police Online News Centre website