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Break in the weather looms as fires burn

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Break in the weather looms as fires burn

Temperatures are expected to heat up across south-eastern capitals this week.

PT0M0S 620 349

It seems Melbourne's big heat is on the way out - at least for now.

The temperature early on Monday morning was the lowest it has been in the past 72 hours.

And even in the north of the state, where towns have baked under sweltering conditions, the mercury is on the way down, albeit briefly.

Forecast temperatures in Melbourne are a far cry from last week.

Forecast temperatures in Melbourne are a far cry from last week. Photo: Justin McManus

It comes as firefighters continue to battle a blaze at Kentbruck, near Portland in the state's south-west, where the Country Fire Authority has issued a watch-and-act notice to residents.

The CFA says the blaze is being controlled, and a community information meeting will be held at 11am.

It has warned the communities of Winnap, Drik Drik and Greenwald that the fire could have an impact on them, and urged residents to leave now if they do not have a fire plan.

A CFA spokeswoman said that the fire had increased in size overnight to be almost 4000 hectares.

The almost 200 fire personnel at the fire front were working on containment lines, she said, and it was expected that the fire would burn for a number of days.

She said this was because the fire was burning in difficult terrain, surrounded by a pine plantation, making it difficult to access.

A fire at Little River, believed to have started in a former wrecking yard, was extinguished on Sunday evening.

Fire Services Commissioner Craig Lapsley warned on Sunday that the coming week is still one of danger for fires.

"Tuesday is the day that has the northerly strong winds and again Friday. They are the two critical days, but we could still have fires on other days that could still do damage," he said.

"It is a week that people need to stay vigilant about fires in Victoria."

In Melbourne, the temperature stayed above 20 degrees until 1am, when it dropped to 19. The lowest temperature came about 4.30am, when it was 16.4 degrees.

It is still beach weather, though, for those lucky enough to be on holiday.

The city is expected to reach 35 degrees today, three degrees lower than the maximum that was forecast last week.

For Tuesday, the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted a late shower, with a top of 29. Those showers are expected to continue into Wednesday morning, when the maximum is expected to be just 22.

It will warm up again - a top of 33 is predicted for Friday - but more showers are possible late on Friday and into Saturday morning, with tops at the weekend of 25 and 26.

Mildura, which has baked in a mid-40s heatwave since Thursday, is expected to experience fleeting respite from the heat on Wednesday, with 29 degrees, but it will be back to 42 on Friday.

Meanwhile, a woman, 18, has been charged with deliberately starting a bushfire near Warrigal Road, at Ashwood in Melbourne's south-east. She was bailed to appear in Dandenong Magistrates Court on April 29.

With AAP

38 comments

  • What kind of moron starts a bushfire?

    Commenter
    Riddley Walker
    Location
    Inland
    Date and time
    January 07, 2013, 8:25AM
    • Simple. Smokers do. A flick of a butt is all it takes. See it by the sides of roads regularly.

      Commenter
      Wes Mantooth
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 8:36AM
    • The type that needs to go too prison for a very very long time, tougher sentencing needs to be brought in regardless of age or sex of the culprit, fires are indescriminate not only costing property but lives. Black Saturday remember well not that long ago and the people who lit fires pleaded limited mental capacity in court but still able to strike a match and kill.

      Commenter
      Pickled Herring
      Location
      Frankston
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 8:39AM
    • The same morons who scrawl grafitti on walls, the same who drink and drive, king hit others for no reason and assault woman. I could go on all day. I'm afraid there are lots of morons walking amongst us.

      Commenter
      cape republic
      Location
      jagajaga
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 8:46AM
    • A good proportion of those people that start fires are the irresponsible idiots that throw their cigarette butts out of their car window. I still see it regularly.

      Commenter
      Skuze Me
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 8:54AM
    • Collingwood supporters

      Commenter
      Corbachov
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 9:22AM
    • @ Cape Republic - There's a big difference between pyromaniacs and petty grafitti hooligans. And if your trying to say that drink driving is on par with starting bushfires then most people would agree that your just being a bit too sensationalist. I'm sure that if you went on you'd blame people who go 63kmh in a 60kmh zone too.

      Commenter
      Tom
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 9:36AM
    • Tom, it is estimated the approx 30% of all road deaths are alchol and/or drug related, that equates to around 350 people per year. Would you care to name the last year in which more than 350 people were killed by bushfires in Australia in one year?
      Not to diminish the utter stupidity of someone starting a bushfire, but, it's way beyond time to pretend that a little drink driving is OK.

      Commenter
      Greg
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 10:02AM
    • Smokers are probably the biggest culprits, followed by CFA volunteers.

      Commenter
      Sean_
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 10:54AM
    • Yep, never forget seeing a young woman casually throw a cigarette butt out of her car window, albeit in Kooyong Rd Caulfield, within the week following the horrendous Feb 2009 fires (which were still burning!), left me shocked and horrified, no respect, no brains.

      Commenter
      They're out there
      Location
      Melb.
      Date and time
      January 07, 2013, 11:01AM

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