Automated fire danger rating signs installed

Three of Australia's first automated Fire Danger Rating signs have been installed in the region just in time for summer.

Two of the signs are in Halls Gap and Dadswells Bridge, with the third in Dunkeld.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Hugh Delahunty, said residents could now get the latest information on the local fire risk this summer with the introduction of the automated roadside Fire Danger Ratings signs.

"Signs will display the daily Fire Danger Rating, which indicates the severity of a fire if one were to start," Mr Delahunty said.

"Victoria is the first state to develop and roll out automated Fire Danger Rating signs, so we're leading the country with this technology.

"The advantages of an automated sign are that it can be updated remotely instead of manually, and an additional alert message can be changed immediately, ensuring motorists will receive the most up-to-date information on changing conditions."

As well as the new Fire Danger Rating signs at Halls Gap, Dunkeld and Dadswells Bridge, a sign has also been installed at Apsley.

Fifty-seven new automated signs are currently operational and a total of 65 automated signs will be rolled out across the state. The signs will be located in highly visible, high traffic locations across the state.

The signs display the daily Fire Danger Rating by weather district and are automatically updated from the CFA website using an RSS feed and 3G technology.

The automated signs are in addition to approximately 350 static fire danger ratings signs across the state that CFA brigades manually update each day of the fire season.

The Victorian Coalition Government provided $1.4 million for the project, with the signs made in Victoria by an Australian-owned company.

The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts the Fire Danger Rating from November 1 each year. Fire Danger Ratings are forecast up to four days in advance.

Mr Delahunty said that while the signs were one way to obtain the latest Fire Danger Rating information, Victorians were encouraged to seek fire information from a variety of sources.

"Fire Danger Ratings aren't weather forecasts - they tell you how bad a fire would be if one started," Mr Delahunty said.

"You need to plan your response to these ratings and discuss them with your household so everyone is clear on what your actions will be in these conditions.

"If the Fire Danger Rating indicates a Severe or Extreme Day and a fire starts, it could be unpredictable and fast moving. A rating of Code Red means that if a fire started, it could be uncontrollable."

Fire Danger Ratings are also available on the CFA's website at www.cfa.vic.gov.au or by calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667.

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