HEAT alerts have been declared across south-west Victoria ahead of more high temperatures next week.
Corangamite, Moyne and Colac Otway shire councils decided yesterday to implement their official heatwave plans for Tuesday when the maximum is set to hit 38 degrees in some centres.
It follows a week of unusually high autumn temperatures across the region which are forecast to continue until Thursday.
Victoria’s chief health officer Dr Rosemary Lester issued an alert to municipalities to monitor conditions and take necessary preparations to protect at-risk residents.
The regional warning was calculated on Hamilton’s forecast Tuesday maximum of 37 and the overnight minimum of 23.
Corangamite Shire chief executive Andrew Mason said a range of actions would be implemented including providing advice on the council website, having information for customers, contacting vulnerable clients and a range of other key actions.
“Remember, never leave children, adults or animals in parked vehicles in hot weather,” he said.
Colac Otway Shire’s manager of health and community services Greg Fletcher said vulnerable clients were being advised to stay hydrated, remain inside, use an airconditioner and a host of other important measures.
Moyne Shire’s chief executive David Madden said there would be extra visitors in town for the Folk Festival and people should take care by drinking lots of water, wearing a broad-brimmed hat and loose clothing, reducing exercise intensity and using sunscreen.
“Anyone can suffer a heat-related illness, but most at risk are the elderly, young children, tourists, sports lovers and farmers,” he said. “Residents in Moyne Shire are generally accustomed to hot weather.
“However, this means people can become complacent about extreme heat events and don’t believe they could be susceptible.”
The hot, dry weather is also taking a toll on farming enterprises and has been linked to recent grass and forest fires.