Keeping cool in the heatwave is easy for some... Photo: Simon O'Dwyer
- Fire fears as crews kept busy with blazes
- 12 treated for heat-related illnesses
- Weston Creek suburbs lose power
Total fire ban
ACT Emergency Services Agency Commissioner Dominic Lane has declared a Total Fire Ban for the ACT for the third day in a row on Saturday.
Canberrans cool off in the summer heat
When the mercury hits 40C, it's all about keeping cool in Canberra - for animals and humans alike. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
"The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting hot conditions tomorrow [Saturday] with strengthening northwesterly winds ahead of a cool easterly change late in the day and a predicted temperature of 40 degrees," he said in a statement.
"The forecast fire danger rating for tomorrow is predicted to be severe."
The Australian National Botanic Gardens' Summer Sounds concert on Saturday has been cancelled due to the fire ban. The concert will go ahead on Sunday, weather permitting.
Details on nature reserves and road closed because of the ban are available at www.tams.act.gov.au.
Power out in Weston Creek
Large sections of Weston Creek are without power this afternoon, after ActewAGL experienced an unplanned outage.
Twelve suburbs lost power about 2.40pm, leaving 1050 Canberrans without electricity.
Power is expected to be restored to the suburbs by 5pm on Friday and ActewAGL crews are working to fix the problem. Power to houses will be progressively restored.
Roads melting in the heat
A number of Canberra's roads have started to melt during the week's heatwave, prompting ACT Roads to lay crushed stone in some areas to prevent more damage.
Motorists have been advised by the ESA to drive carefully and to look for loose stone signage.
On some roads speed limits have been reduced.
The loose stone will be removed next week if the weather cools. In the meantime, road issues can be reported to Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.
A cool night has allowed Canberrans to briefly recover from three days of extreme temperatures, as the city braces for another two days of heat.
Friday is expected to exceed the maximums of the past two days; 41 degrees is forecast for the capital.
By 4pm, the mercury had reached 39.7 degrees.
Thursday peaked at 40.1 degrees at 2.38pm, following on from Wednesday's 40.2 degree maximum and a top of 37.6 degrees on Tuesday.
It dipped to a cool 13.5 degrees at 4am on Friday, and at 3.30pm the temperature had reached 38.5 degrees, and was still climbing.
After Saturday's forecast high of 39 degrees, there will be some relief on the horizon for Canberrans: Sunday is set to be 32 degrees, followed by a cooler change on Monday, with a top of 25 degrees.
There's also the chance of a storm on Saturday, followed by the potential of showers on Sunday and Monday.
Canberra's temperatures are in line with the extreme heat being experienced in the south-eastern states - Adelaide sweated through another hot night, with a low of 29 degrees at 7am, after yesterday's 44 degree scorcher.
South Australians are in for another hot day, with a top of 42 degrees forecast for Friday.
It's a similar story for Melburnians, who have struggled through a hot night with a low of just 25.6 degrees ahead of a forecast 44 degree day.
Warnings as heat affects residents
A total of 12 people have now been treated for confirmed cases of heat related illnesses since heatwave conditions set in on Monday.
It’s an increase of 50 per cent from the eight cases confirmed on Thursday, when temperatures peaked at 40.1 degrees.
A spokesman for the ACT Ambulance Service said half of the cases confirmed by ACT Health on Friday involved patients over 70 years of age.
ACT chief health officer Paul Kelly said staff were monitoring hospitals emergency departments, and were prepared to increase staffing levels should there be an increase in heat-related illness.
With the heatwave continuing on Friday and Saturday, authorities are warning people to stay hydrated and out of the heat.
Fires in the region
Firefighters have battled several blazes in the region in recent days, including a three-hectare fire near the Kings Highway, at the NSW-ACT border.
An earlier fire at Molonglo on Thursday left a homeless man with severe burns to his throat, chest and face. He remains in a Sydney hospital; police say they will be speaking with him as to what caused that fire, and another on Wednesday.