UPDATE: 3.05PM FRIDAY
POLICE are investigating an unattended campfire near Goroke.
Wimmera Superintendent Paul Margetts said a campfire at Karnak, south of Goroke, had been left alight on Friday, a Total Fire Ban day.
He said the fire was put out and police were looking into the matter.
Temperatures soared across the region on Friday, with Horsham among the hottest places in the state.
The mercury reached 41 degrees in the city at 2pm.
In Hopetoun it was 40.8 degrees just before 3pm, while Nhill’s temperature at the same time was 40.3 degrees and climbing.
The mercury hit 37.5 degrees in Ararat at 3pm, while Stawell registered 37.4 degrees.
Meanwhile, power was out in some parts of the Wimmera on Friday.
WIMMERA residents are being urged to monitor conditions and avoid complacency as scorching temperatures and strong winds lash the region.
The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted the temperature will climb above 40 degrees in a handful of places on Friday, with most locations experiencing temperatures in at least the high 30s.
In Horsham on Friday, the mercury had pushed past 36 degrees by 10.30am.
It was 36.4 degrees in Hopetoun at the same time, 35.2 in Nhill, and 33.4 in Stawell.
The fire danger rating is listed at severe for the Wimmera and Mallee, while a heat health alert is in place for both regions.
Some Wimmera fire brigades have issued requests to farmers to cease any harvest operations.
Country Fire Authority District 17 operations manager Craig Brittain said the authority could not proclaim a ‘no harvest’ rule, but brigades and groups could issue advice messages.
“We don’t have the legislation or authority to enforce a ‘no harvest day’, but can advise farmers of the increased risk of operating machinery on high-risk days,” he said.
Wimmera Superintendent Paul Margetts said police had resources ready to support the authority and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning fire crews if needed.
He said police were also on the lookout for negligent behavior, particularly in light of multiple fires last week.
“An operation that's been running across this year is targeting people who light campfires, burn rubbish and use machinery that might cause fires on high-risk days,” he said.
Police have advised people to do the following:
1. Given the increased risk, activate your personal fire plans.
2. Be aware of the heat health warnings
3. Keep an eye out for our elderly relatives and others who might be vulnerable to the impacts of extremely hot weather.