Dan­ger heat­ing up in our re­gion

To­tal Fire Ban, and Heat Health Alerts to­day

Wangaratta Chronicle - - News -

WAN­GARATTA and dis­trict res­i­dents can ex­pect to swel­ter through one of our hottest sum­mer days in years.

While yes­ter­day’s tem­per­a­ture nudged 40 de­grees, the Bureau of Me­te­o­rol­ogy is fore­cast­ing a top of 44 de­grees in the city to­day, with Heat Health Alerts is­sued for across the North East.

The CFA has also de­clared to­day a day of To­tal Fire Ban for the whole state of Vic­to­ria.

No fires can be lit in the open air any­time to­day or tonight.

The CFA is ad­vis­ing peo­ple liv­ing in ar­eas at risk of fire to ac­ti­vate their bush fire plan.

All emer­gency ser­vices are urg­ing the pub­lic to take ex­tra care when swim­ming and camp­ing, as campers and lo­cals head to the wa­ter­ways to es­cape soar­ing tem­per­a­tures.

Heat Health Alerts have been is­sued for the North East to­day, with tem­per­a­tures ex­pected to reach the low to mid 40s.

“VICSES vol­un­teers re­spond to high num­bers of in­juries and fa­tal­i­ties over the sum­mer pe­riod as a re­sult of drown­ings, and fall- ing trees or branches on camp­grounds,” Vic­to­ria State Emer­gency Ser­vice re­gional agency com­man­der, Bren­dan Cor­boy, said yes­ter­day.

“Be­fore set­ting up tents or car­a­vans, it’s crit­i­cal that campers com­plete a thor­ough check of trees in the area, and never park or camp un­der­neath over­hang­ing branches.

“There are of­ten no warn­ing signs be­fore a branch falls.

“Don’t risk it – even a small branch can kill.”

Life Sav­ing Vic­to­ria’s an­nual drown­ing re­port tells of the high­est sum­mer drown­ing toll in 20 years, with 40 peo­ple drown­ing in Vic­to­ria in the 2017-2018 fi­nan- cial year, and a quar­ter of these re­lat­ing to al­co­hol or il­licit drugs.

“Un­like a dip at the lo­cal pool, swim­ming in our mag­nif­i­cent wa­ter­ways is an un­con­trolled en­vi­ron­ment – there are no life­guards and when things go wrong, your mates can’t see you un­der the sur­face,” warned Vic­to­ria Po­lice Hume re­gional emer­gency man­age­ment, In­spec­tor Pauline Wil­liams.

Hol­i­day-mak­ers and lo­cals ven­tur­ing out to wa­ter­ways and camp­grounds are re­minded to act re­spon­si­bly, stay tuned to emer­gency in­for­ma­tion and warn­ings, and look out for each other around wa­ter­ways and camp­grounds.

PHOTO: Mel Guy

KEEP­ING THEIR COOL: Brothers Brock (left) and Jami­son Matthews found the Ovens River at Wan­garatta’s Frank Garth Re­serve the per­fect spot to beat the heat, and have some fun with the re­mote con­trolled speed boat they got for Christ­mas this week. All swim­mers are urged to be cau­tious around the wa­ter.

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