Dangerous fire conditions are forecast for large parts of Victoria during Saturday as an extreme heatwave sweeps South-East Australia. Above image via Country Fire Authority (VIC).
The majority of Victoria is expected to experience their hottest day of the Summer so far, in combination with very strong winds and low humidity leading to one of the most dangerous fire setups since Black Saturday back in 2009.
A trough is expected to draw very strong North to North-West winds into VIC which are likely to pump the temperature up to furnace-like temperatures with Melbourne set to experience its hottest day of the Summer with 42ºc and the North West of the State in particularly expected to melt under 44-46ºc heat which “could” challenge a few young records. This heat is expected to combine with very low humidity of 15% or less (some places below 10%) and strong to possibly damaging winds along and ahead of the trough line where gusts of 70-90km/h are expected and localised stronger gusts in more elevated areas are possible.
This setup is expected to produce extreme fire danger potential, with the Mallee, Wimmera, South West and Central (including Melbourne City) all under an Extreme Fire Danger. The North Central and Central districts are also under a Severe Fire Danger threat, with the entire State under a total fire ban.
While the heat isn’t uncommon for Summer in Victoria, its still important to be smart in the heat by drinking plenty of water and staying in the shade as much as possible. The fire danger potential is something that everyone needs to be vigilant and alert about, as any fires that do get going are likely to be fast moving and out of control very quickly!