Code Red: Victoria To Face Worst Possible Fire Conditions
Victorians facing Code Red bushfire conditions have been told their houses are not built to withstand the conditions and they should get to major cities if they can.
Temperatures are forecast to stay well over 40C in the state's north, and strong northerly winds have put the Mallee and the Northern Country districts on a Code Red alert.
Conditions will be milder in the rest of the state, but fire danger ratings are listed as severe or very high, while temperatures are close to all-time November highs, with Melbourne forecast at 39C on Thursday.
A total fire ban has been issued statewide, but the worst conditions are in the state's north.
Code Red signals the worst possible bushfire conditions and the safest place to be is away from high-risk fire areas within those districts, the CFA advised.
"Our community members should be prepared for fire, and know where to get information to make good decisions about your safety," Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said on Wednesday.
"Given fires could start and move quickly, you won't always receive a warning or be told what to do if a fire starts."
All public parks in the Code Red areas will be closed, and some schools and early childhood centres will be closed.
"Homes are not built to withstand the types of fires we may see on a Code Red day and you don't want to be caught travelling through areas on fire at the last minute if you wait and see," CFA Chief Officer Steve Warrington said.
Along with possible bushfires, the National Asthma Council Australia has forecast Thursday's pollen count as "extreme".
The alert coincides with the third anniversary of the epidemic thunderstorm asthma event, which claimed 10 lives on November 21, 2016.
"Today's anniversary is a reminder that the risk is real. Any serious asthma attack can be life-threatening and have devastating consequences," NAC chief executive Siobhan Brophy said.
"People do not need to be in the immediate area of a fire to suffer from the effect of smoke on their lungs. Wherever smoke haze is visible, it is a threat to those with asthma."