TODAY, January 17, 2017 is the first High Fire Danger Rating day of summer in West and South Gippsland district (Baw Baw, South Gippsland, Latrobe and Wellington municipalities).

The Fire Danger Rating advises how dangerous a fire would be if one started.

“We’ve been very lucky this summer with a number of cool, mild days,” District 9 Operations Officer Mick Cherry said.

“That has also meant we had a number of approved burn-offs late last year.”

Mr Cherry warned property owners that hot, windy conditions forecast for today, could create flare-ups.

“Fires can burn under-ground for months, even with our recent rain,” Mr Cherry said.

“All it takes is a bit of wind to flare it up and a spark for it to get into nearby fuels and start a fast-moving grass fire.

“If a previous burn-off is not monitored, it could spread quickly and can burn into bushland or on to neighbours’ properties.

“Even after burn-offs are extinguished, they need to be checked and re-checked to ensure they are safe.”