Victorians were urged to cancel whatever plans they may have had for the weekend and take whatever steps necessary to prepare for what Premier John Brumby on Friday called the "worst day in the history of the state" on Saturday.
It was one of the most powerful warnings ever issued by a State Premier, and one, unfortunately, subsequently proved the be so correct over the weekend.
Mr Brumby said the conditions had been worse than those that preceded the devastating bushfires of Ash Wednesday or Black Friday.
"It's just as bad a day as you can imagine and on top of that the state is just tinder-dry. People need to exercise real common sense tomorrow," he said.
"If you don't need to go out, don't go out, it's a seriously bad day.
"If you don't need to travel, don't travel.
"Don't go on the roads. If you don't need to use the public transport system, don't use it.
"If you can stay at home, stay at home.
"If you've got relatives who are elderly, if you've got friends, if you've got neighbours, please call on them.
"Ring them ... it's going to be a terrible day for anyone who is ill or who is old.
"I can't stress this enough, I know that the chief fire officer has been out and he said it will be as bad as you can get and he's not exaggerating," Mr Brumby said.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.