Forest Fire management Victoria has asked Victorians to delay visiting national parks, state forests and other areas in the bush covered by the Bureau of Meteorology’s Flood Watch and Severe Weather Warning.

Chief Fire Officer Stephanie Rotarangi said: “With flooding likely over the next few days we would advise people to postpone any planned travel to forests and parks.

“As water levels rise, some campgrounds and tracks may become inaccessible due to flooding and there is also an increased risk of landslips, falling rocks and falling trees,” Dr Rotarangi said.

“We are particularly concerned about forest areas north of the Divide due to the heavy rain forecast for this area and would encourage anyone considering camping, riding or driving in these areas to postpone their trip.

“We know that there are many parts of the state that people will want to be out and enjoying at this time of year particularly with the opening of the Murray Cod season today and the Great Victorian Bike Ride underway, but we need Victorians to take these flood warnings seriously.”

“The advice from the Victorian State Emergency Service is:

  • ·Never enter floodwater.
  • It can take just 15 centimetres to float a small vehicle
  • During a flood, stay away from fallen trees, power lines and damaged buildings.
  • Stay informed - monitor your local conditions and remain alert.

The catchments affected by the Flood Watch include Snowy River, Tambo River, Mitchell River, Avon River, Macalister River, Thomson River, Latrobe River, Traralgon Creek, Gippsland Lakes, South Gippsland Rivers, Bunyip River and Dandenong Creek, Yarra River, Maribyrnong River, Werribee River, Barwon, Leigh and Moorabool Rivers, Hopkins River, Lake Corangamite, Otway Coast, Upper Murray and Mitta Mitta Rivers, Kiewa River, Ovens and King Rivers, Broken River, Broken Creek, Seven and Castle Creeks, Goulburn River, Campaspe River, Loddon River, Avoca River, Wimmera River, River Murray Murraylands, Murray River and Murray River to Tocumwal

For information on warnings and incidents in Victoria please go to: http://emergency.vic.gov.au/respond/

For more information on Bureau of Meteorology warnings go to: http://www.bom.gov.au/vic/warnings/index.shtml?ref=hdr

For more information on closures and conditions in Victorian parks go to: http://parkweb.vic.gov.au/safety/closures For more information on what to do to prepare for flooding go to: https://www.ses.vic.gov.au/get-ready/floodsafe

You can also access emergency information from a number of sources including the VicEmergency app, www.emergency.vic.gov.au, tuning in to ABC radio or other emergency broadcasters including commercial and community radio stations or Sky TV or by phoning the VicEmergency Hotline on 1800 226 226 and following VicEmergency on Facebook and Twitter.