News

Code red fire danger issued for Northern Country district tomorrow

By Liz Mellino

A code red fire danger rating has been issued tomorrow for Shepparton.

A number of schools and early childhood centres will be closed with a full list available on the Department of Education's website.

With temperatures expected to reach 42° across Greater Shepparton, the Country Fire Authority have issued a total fire ban for the Northern Country fire district.

The Northern Country district covers Greater Shepparton, Campaspe, Greater Bendigo, Loddon, Moira and Strathbogie.

No fires can be lit or are allowed to remain alight in the open air from 12:01am tomorrow until 11:59pm tomorrow.

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.

Overnight temperatures are forecast to stay at 30C and northerly winds will hit high speeds to the Northern Country districts on a Code Red alert.

Residents in northern Victoria will swelter through temperatures over 40C, and Emergency Management Victoria recommended regional populations move to their nearest city centres.

"Our message to community members in these areas is that leaving high bushfire risk areas tonight or early tomorrow morning is the safest option," Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said on Wednesday.

Source: CFA

Code Red warnings are considered the worst conditions for a bush or grass fire.

"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.

"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," NAC chief executive Siobhan Brophy said.

- with AAP