UPDATE: VICTORIA is again facing testing bushfire conditions, with hot and dry weather putting authorities on high alert.
Temperatures tomorrow are expected to reach the low 40s in northern Victoria, and the high 30s across Melbourne and southern Victoria.
- FIRE CONDITIONS IN VICTORIA AND ADVICE ON HOW TO PREPARE FOR THEM:
* Total fire ban declared for the Wimmera, central, north central and southwest districts for Thursday
* Severe fire danger rating for those four districts. Very high rating elsewhere in state
* Currently no fires of significance burning
* Temperatures expected to reach into the 40s in some parts of the state on Thursday
* Moderate northwesterly winds expected on Thursday
* Extremely dry conditions across the state with no recent significant rainfall
Preparations and advice:
* People advised to monitor the FireReady app, CFA website, text message alerts, radio and local conditions
* Waterbombing helicopter Elvis back at Essendon Airport and ready for deployment after undergoing engine repairs
* 8000 firefighting personnel currently on standby
* Farmers encouraged to postpone use of machinery that could cause sparks in open air
* Holiday-makers encouraged to familiarise themselves with local emergency alert services and conditions
* Thursday: Mildura 43C, Horsham 42C, Shepparton 40C, Echuca 41C, Albury-Wodonga 39C, Warrnambool 38C, Melbourne 39C
* Friday: Mildura 36C, Horsham 29C, Shepparton 37C, Echuca 36C, Albury-Wodonga 40C, Warrnambool 22C, Melbourne 29C
A total fire ban has been declared for the Wimmera, central, north central and southwest districts tomorrow, while the CFA warns of a very high danger level for the remainder of the state.
"The next couple of days will be a test for Victorians," Premier Ted Baillieu told reporters in Melbourne today.
"With the high temperatures over the next couple of days, that means there will be considerable risk of bushfires in many parts of Victoria."
Mr Baillieu said those on holiday across the state should be especially careful.
"Those who are holidaying around Victoria should take particular care to look after their own circumstances and make sure they stay in touch," he said.
About 8000 firefighters are on standby across the state.
Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley said crews had worked hard to bring all current fires under control in an effort to free up resources.
"We move into Thursday with no significant fires on the board that we have got major resources at," he said.
He said farmers should avoid using machinery in the open air during the next two days.
Mr Lapsley said the FireReady App and CFA website, which crashed under unprecedented demand earlier this month, had been upgraded and could now handle much higher volumes of traffic.
"I encourage people to use those two sites ... we have done some significant work over the last 10 days, we have improved the technology and increased the bandwidth," he said.
"The worst case scenario may be that it slows, but we hope that not to be the case."
Mr Lapsley said Victoria's iconic firefighting helicopter Elvis, which had to undergo engine repairs this week, was ready for action and back at Essendon Airport.