THIS year’s CFA declared fire danger period will begin at 1am on Monday, December 14 in the City of Whittlesea.

During a fire danger period there are changes to restrictions, meaning people cannot light a fire in the open air unless they have a permit or comply with certain requirements. Further restrictions apply during days of total fire ban.

With the start of the fire danger period looming, the CFA has encouraged people to make sure they are fire ready.

Wollert Fire Brigade member Aaron Fitzell said many parts of the City of Whittlesea were at risk from bushfire or grassfire, particularly in the north of the municipality around the outskirts of the suburbs.

“Fire danger periods are when we find there is a high risk to the community regarding bushfire and grassfire,” he said.

“What we’re asking the community to do is be aware of their risk and have a plan in place for if the worst does happen. A lot of people might not be aware of the risks they could potentially be facing.

“We have a very large area in Wollert that has a grassfire risk. People need to be very aware of that.

“We’ll be running a fire awareness talk on December 14. People can contact either Epping, Wollert or Kalkallo CFA and they’ll be able to register for that online meeting.”

Mr Fitzell said people should understand their fire risk and plan ahead, knowing what to do on hot, dry, windy days.

He said grassfires could start anywhere and spread quickly.

People who live in suburbs near grassland are advised to walk at least two streets back from grassfires.

CFA also advise people who live two or three streets away from grassland should stay where they are if a grassfire starts, as grassfires are unlikely to spread into built-up areas.

People should never drive if they can see smoke or fire. Thick smoke will make it hard to see and traffic jams and accidents are likely. Walking two streets away from a grassfire will keep roads clear for emergency services.

More about grassfires near cities and towns is available at cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/grassfires-near-cities-and-towns.

A guide for understand fire risk is available at cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare/am-i-at-risk.

People can prepare for fire season by making sure their grass is no longer than 10cm and talking to family, friends and neighbours about their fire plans.

More information about fire preparation is available at cfa.vic.gov.au/plan-prepare.