Extreme fire alert in record heatwave
Black Saturday temperature records are set to be broken with temperatures soaring to the high 40s in northern Victoria.
Marble Bar in Western Australia’s Pilbara smashed the January record for heat with temperatures hitting 49.1C on Sunday.
The Bureau of Meteorology has predicted temperatures up to 12C higher than average in parts of central Western Australia, Victoria, NSW, South Australia, and southern Queensland.
In South Australia, the government declared a “code red” to unlock extra funds for homeless shelters in the scorching temperatures, as parts of the state are set to swelter through five consecutive days of over 45C.
A total fire ban is in place across Victoria today with Emergency Management Victoria warning residents to prepare for the extreme heat.
There is an extreme risk of fire in the Wimmera region, a high risk of fire in the Mallee, the northern country and northern central Victoria with the rest of the state put on alert ahead of a severe risk.
Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said the danger of fire was real.
“There is significant risk of fire in all regions and we ask that people increase their fire preparedness to ensure safer fire outcomes, Commissioner Crisp said. He advised Victorians, especially those attending the Australian Open tennis, to prepare for the extreme heat, remain hydrated and to check 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.
A Bureau of Meteorology spokesman said records set a decade ago during Black Saturday, which claimed the lives 173 people, could be broken this week in northeastern Victoria.
“Basically it’s going to break some January records, certainly all-time temperature records which were mainly set during the Black Saturday fires,” he said.
The towns set to sweat the most in the coming days are Shepparton, Albury-Wodonga and Echuca, which currently hold record temperatures of 46.1C, 44.8C and 46.8C.
Melbourne city will be spared the worst with temperatures remaining in the low 30s while it will be significantly warmer further inland.
Heat health alerts have been issued in the Mallee, North Central, Northern Country and North East starting yesterday and going through to at least tomorrow..
The scorching conditions are expected to remain until Friday with southerly winds dropping the mercury to the low 30s in time for the weekend.