THE Country Fire Authority is urging Victorians to be prepare for extended heat and increased fire danger this week.
A Total Fire Ban was declared for Tuesday for the whole state of Victoria.
No fire can be lit in the open air or be allowed to remain alight in the open air between 00:01am and 11.59pm.
On Tuesday the fire danger is elevated with Extreme Fire Danger in the Wimmera.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said planning and preparing ahead of hot days was important for everyone.
“There is significant risk of fire in all regions and we ask that people increase their fire preparedness to ensure safer fire outcomes,” he said.
“We’re still in the summer holiday period before school returns, with a large number of people camping and visiting national parks. It is important everyone stays vigilant and don’t light camp fires.”
Heat Health Alerts have been issued in Mallee, North Central, Northern Country and North East starting on Monday and going through to Wednesday.
“Drink plenty of water and check in on others. Look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young, people with a medical condition and don’t forget your pets,” he said.
Mr Crisp said the increased fire danger on Tuesday was due to very hot temperatures and light winds.
“The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting a very hot dry air mass with light winds and there won’t be much relief from the heat overnight on Tuesday, meaning if we have fires in the landscape they could challenge firefighters,” he said.
“Stay aware of your surroundings and if you’re travelling or in unfamiliar places, make sure you are aware of the local risk. Know how to stay informed and never rely on one source for emergency information.”
WIMMERA residents are being urged to stay cool and keep hydrated with a heatwave expected to sweep through the region during the next few days.
The Bureau of Meteorology predicted Horsham would reach a high of 40 degrees on Monday, while 44 degrees is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday.
BOM Victoria senior forecaster Michael Efron said these temperatures were typical for this time of year.
“It’s not quite record breaking, but still very high. The current record for January in Horsham is 46 degrees,” he said.
An overnight low of 16 degrees is expected for Horsham on Tuesday, while Wednesday is predicted to have a low of 19 degrees.
“Certainly Wimmera residents will experience some extreme conditions and some hot nights ahead, but they should see some relief on Thursday – although it’s still expected to reach 37 degrees.”
Stawell is expected to reach a high of 42 degrees on both Tuesday and Wednesday, while 41 degrees is predicted for Ararat.
Mr Efron said residents could expect a cooler change during the weekend.
“The trend towards the weekend will be cooler conditions in the low to mid 30s as a low pressure trough approaches from the west,” he said.
“There will certainly be some more instances during the rest of January and into February where the Wimmera has three or four very hot days in a row, however it will be less likely later in late February.”
The Country Fire Authority has declared a Total Fire Ban day for the whole state on Tuesday with a fire danger rating of “very high”.
A Total Fire Ban day has not been declared for Wednesday with a fire danger rating of “severe”.
A CFA spokesperson said the authority often declared Total Fire Ban days more than 24 hours beforehand.
“It all depends on the specific conditions and consultation on a case by case basis,” they said.
The spokesperson said the authority had a number of key messages for the Wimmera heatwave.
“Heat health alerts have been issued for Monday in Mallee, North Central, Northern Country and North East. There will be no respite from the heat this evening so prepare now and stay hydrated,” they said.
“Hot conditions are forecast this week, with a heatwave developing. Be attuned to the conditions in your area, and download the VicEmergency app to stay up to date with the latest emergency information.”
Health advice from CFA:
- Drink plenty of water. Always take a bottle with you.
- Hot cars kill. Never leave kids, adults or pets in cars. The temperature inside a parked car can double within minutes.
- Keep cool. Seek out air-conditioned buildings, draw your blinds, use a fan, take cool showers and dress in light and loose clothing made from natural fabrics.
- Plan ahead. Schedule activities in the coolest part of the day and avoid exercising in the heat. If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
- Check-in on others. Look after those most at risk in the heat – your neighbour living alone, the elderly, the young, people with a medical condition and don’t forget your pets.
- Call NURSE-ON-CALL on 1300 606 024 or see your doctor if you are unwell. In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000).
Related:Wimmera outdoor pools open
Horsham Aquatic Centre acting manager Tammy Vanduren said business was booming at the centre.
“Patronage absolutely gets high during these really hot days, especially in the late afternoon. We probably average about 100 people a day during the peak,” she said.
“We do often have families who stay the whole day. There are also always groups travelling through the region who stop by.
“We have shady areas outside with our trees that have grown a lot, while people can also use the undercover old children’s pool area too. They are also welcome to bring their own umbrellas, tents and gazebos.”
Ms Vanduren said the centre was hosting a pool party on Thursday between 1pm and 3pm, while a Hawaiian pool party was planned for January 23 along with an Australia Day party on January 26.
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