Break in the weather looms as fires burn
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. 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.