Firefighters on alert for temperatures as high as 43C

Firefighters on alert for temperatures as high as 43C

9 January 2008

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Australia — Victoria’s firefighters will be on high alert from tomorrow as they brace for two of the most dangerous days of summer.

Searing temperatures as high as 43C are tipped for tomorrow, and strong wind and possible lightning strikes for Friday.

The extreme weather has led the Country Fire Authority to issue a warning to country homeowners and holiday makers.

CFA deputy chief officer Geoff Conway said bushfire conditions over the next two days would be the most extreme so far this summer.

“We have had hot days before but thankfully not strong winds,” Mr Conway said.

“As well as two days of high temperatures, we are also expecting very strong wind of 40-60km/h across the state on Friday as a southwesterly change comes through.

“If we do have fires, that wind change will make things very difficult.”

Mr Conway warned holiday makers to take particular care.

“There are many people still on holidays along the coast and in the mountains who are away from their normal environment,” he said.

“Don’t go into the bush on Friday.”

Mr Conway also warned country residents to have their bushfire plans prepared and ready.

Weather bureau senior forecaster Phil King said northern Victoria would face temperatures of up to 43C tomorrow, while other areas could expect a top of up to 41C.

Mr King said temperatures tomorrow night would drop to 25C-27C before rising on Friday.

He said a cool change would work its way across the state on Friday but would not hit Melbourne until the early afternoon.

“Thunderstorm activity and possible lightning strikes are likely as the change moves through,” Mr King said.

The CFA and the weather bureau will meet this afternoon to determine if tomorrow should be declared a day of total fire ban.

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