'Biggest ever' deployment of emergency workers

Emergency Services Minister David Elliott has described the thousands of firefighters, volunteers, police and ambulance officers fighting the bushfire threat as "probably the largest" single deployment of emergency personnel the state's ever seen.

He said about 10,000 salaried and volunteer officers are either working on the frontline or on standby, ready to protect communities as conditions worsen over the coming hours.

Given the sacrifice the officers had made so close to Christmas, it was only fair to ask  everyone to demonstrate commonsense and patience when going about their day today, Mr Elliott said.

This could mean delaying travel by a day and listening to the instructions of emergency personnel on the ground.

"There probably will be significant road closures around the state," he said.

"Describing today as "a long day", Mr Elliott said he will be just as relieved as the firefighters on the frontline when the expected southerly arrives later today.

"It will be a day where we see probably more risk than we've seen so far this season," Mr Elliott said.

"Like everybody, I'll be waiting for the southerly to come through so that at least those emergency service workers have their working conditions ... ease off." 


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