Heat too hot to handle

To say it has been hot is stating the blistering obvious... But boy has it been hot!

For three days in a row Stawell has topped 40 degrees Celsius, and that's after a top of 39.4 on Monday and taking into account we are forecast to exceed 40 again today.

A change tonight will bring welcome relief for everyone, but under no circumstances should people become complacent.

Authorities have been warning us all week that today would be the danger day, as with the change in conditions comes the risk and rapid spread of fire.

We've already seen blazes break out when thunderstorms were accompanied by dry lightning.

The Bureau of Meteorology has advised thunderstorms are expected again today with little or no rainfall and combined with northwesterly winds, that is a cause for concern.

This week's heatwave has put a strain on state emergency and health services, as well as power grids.

Racing Victoria made the decision to cancel today's race meeting due to the extreme hot weather conditions.

The welfare of both horses and human participants was taken into account when deciding not to go ahead with the scheduled meeting.

That is why as residents it is important we continue to look out for one another - especially the young, elderly, neighbours and family pets.

Those who are lucky enough to bathe in cool water or sit idly under an air conditioner should also take the time to appreciate the efforts of firefighters and paramedics in particular, who are working to maintain our safety in what are unbearable conditions for one day, let alone five in a row!

- Ben Kimber

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