Victoria is set for a difficult and dangerous bushfire season, particularly in the state's southeast, following lower-than-average rainfall and mild temperatures.
"It's dry, it's been dry for months. It's been warm and the forecast continues to be exactly that," Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley said.
"We've already had fires in East Gippsland that have been intense, difficult to control and they were on both private and public land."
Concerns for the region are so great that authorities have brought forward fire restrictions.
"For the first time ever, we've put Gippsland fire restrictions in before anywhere else in the state," CFA Chief Officer Steven Warrington said.
"As we go into the normal summer, the whole state will dry out by Christmas."
Mr Lapsley urged Victorians to start preparing their properties for bushfire season.
"It's about, now, making sure that you clean up your property, you do the physical things about fire prevent works," he said.