Wimmera relief ahead after weekend heatwave

THE Wimmera has sweltered through another hot weekend, with the mercury exceeding 40 degrees.

Bureau of Meteorology data shows temperatures reached 43 degrees in Nhill, 42 degrees in Horsham and Edenhope and 40 degrees in Stawell on Saturday.

Saturday was the third February day above 40 degrees and the ninth day for the year.

Both Saturday and Sunday were total fire ban days.

Incident controller Russell Manning said the weekend’s hot weather did not start any new fires.

He said a cool change went through the district on Sunday.

“Fortunately for the Wimmera, the temperatures have dropped and the humidity has increased, meaning there is a lower fire danger,” he said. 

“There are favourable conditions ahead of us.”

Mr Manning said there were still about 50 Department of Environment and Primary Industries and Parks Victoria fire-fighters at the Grampians.

“They are still patrolling and blacking out hot spots,” he said.

“The crew has done an outstanding job over the past 10 days – there have been no breakaways at all from the Grampians fire.”

Mr Manning said crews were working in difficult conditions.

“There is hot weather, windy conditions and steep terrain,” he said.

“We are also monitoring the fire by aircraft on a daily basis and the only bit of smoke reported on Saturday came from well inside the fire line.

“We are really happy with how that fire is looking now.”

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Richard Carlyon said the temperature dropped on Sunday.

“There were some blustery south-westerly winds, with gusts about 60 kilometres an hour, but those winds subsided later in the day,” he said.

The hot weather is set to continue, with Tuesday's forecast 36 degrees, Wednesday 40 and Thursday 37.

Mr Carlyon said while the temperature would rise, it would not reach extreme levels.

“It is going to be cloudy and cooler on Thursday with some shower activity,” he said.

“The temperatures won’t quite get back to the mid-40s because of showers and rain later in the week.”

Ambulance Victoria operations manager Paul Holman said when it was hot, people with minor medical complaints should find other options, rather than calling triple-0.

“Think about the situation before you call for an ambulance,” he said.

“If people are suffering chest pain or any other serious medical condition, then certainly call triple-0. 

“However if it is something less urgent then just think about whether a doctor, a relative or some other service is more appropriate.”

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