The Stewarton grass fire burning 20 kilometres north west of Benalla, is burning in a northerly direction. Even though the fire is not currently posing a threat, the communities of Stewarton need to be aware that fire activity in the area has increased and has the potential to impact directly.
People in the area need to remain alert as there may not be a warning should conditions change unexpectedly. Continue to listen to ABC or local radio for updates on this fire.
Be prepared to activate your bushfire survival plan if necessary.
Decide now if you are going to stay or go. Remember that it is very dangerous to leave late with a fire in the area. Road use in the area will be extremely hazardous due to low visibility from smoke. Watch out for fallen trees, power lines, abandoned cars, wildlife and emergency services vehicles.
If you plan to stay, remember to seek shelter from radiant heat. Should the fire reach your property, close all doors and windows and stay inside the house while the fire passes. Remain alert, extinguish any small fires and if necessary, move outside to burnt ground once the fire has passed.
Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
For information on fires in Victoria and general fire safety advice, please contact the Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL) on freecall 1800 240 667. Callers who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech / communication impairment may call textphone/ telewriter (TTY) on 1800 122 969. Information is also available at www.dse.vic.gov.au/fires