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Firefighters bracing for more tough condition -

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SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Firefighters in much of Australia are bracing for another day of high fire danger tomorrow.

Firefighters are still working to contain several blazes in Victoria, for example, and with me now is the spokesman of the Victorian Country Fire Authority control centre, David Harris.

David, good afternoon.

DAVID HARRIS: Good afternoon Samantha.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: What's the biggest priority in Victoria at the moment, is it still that blaze near Portland in the south-west?

DAVID HARRIS: Yes so we've got the blaze near Portland in the south-west that is really where we're focusing a lot of resources on today so we've got crews there doing some burning out operations and trying to establish a good strong perimeter prior to some severe fire danger we're expecting tomorrow.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Yes, exactly how are conditions looking for Victoria?

DAVID HARRIS: Well it's interesting, we had quite mild conditions overnight, we've got relatively mild conditions down there today, which is good, though we do have some lightning that is coming across from the west of Australia and it should hit that area sometime this afternoon, which could be a little bit problematic for us.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: David, looking at the map, there's barely a state, in fact I don't think there is a state or a territory that isn't facing some sort of risk tomorrow. How are the various states working together to battle the fires?

DAVID HARRIS: Well there's lots of plans that are in place at a national level that allow us to support one another in a recognised framework, but specifically what CFA is doing and our sister agencies in Victoria are doing is in New South Wales, we've got some liaison people, working with them at their headquarters, we've got an incident management team and some resources on the ground there.

We also have a full time team of about 64 people down in Tasmania at the minute. They're about to come back to tomorrow and we're sending off another deployment down there to help them. So there's a lot of cooperation that exists between the agencies and particularly in Victoria, we take it quite seriously because of the amount of help that we received in 2009.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: Should we expect that there's going to be a strain on resources? It's only January and typically in the south-east, the highest fire danger is usually February. How are brigades and volunteers and others going to bear up under this big threat?

DAVID HARRIS: Well I think one of the benefits that we have is by all the states supporting one another. If you actually look at the fire season, it creeps its way down south through the Australian continent.

At the minute, while we do have a lot of stuff happening in the south-east, you know, in another couple of weeks it will keep moving further and further south and so the agencies will get a bit of an opportunity to have some respite there.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: You may not have had a good chance to look at conditions in other states, but from what I can see, it sounds like Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, South Australia as well, expecting similar conditions perhaps to Victoria - pretty hot and windy?

DAVID HARRIS: Yeah look, unfortunately I haven't been able to look at the conditions for New South Wales or Queensland. I suppose part of the thrust of the question might be well where do we go beyond using the national resources.

And we've also got some good arrangements internationally as well, so if we did need assistance from, say, Canada or the US or New Zealand, we can also go there and access some of their resources as well.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: David Harris, thanks very much for speaking to me.

DAVID HARRIS: Thanks Samantha.

SAMANTHA DONOVAN: David Harris, a spokesman for the Victorian Country Fire Authority.