One person has died and dozens have sought medical treatment
during a scorching heatwave that has baked most of Australia.
A woman collapsed and died while walking near Cape Otway in
Victoria's southwest on Friday when temperatures peaked above
The coastal fringes of southern states received a cool change
yesterday, but the Bureau of Meteorology said it would be a
"Tasmania, Victoria and South Australia have experienced a
cool change but the rest of the continent is hot," the
bureau's Alasdair Hainsworth told AAP.
"That tremendously hot air is still hovering just to the
Temperatures in Hobart dropped to 25degC yesterday after
hitting 41.8C on Friday, the city's hottest day since records
Parts of Tasmania's east coast were cut off by bushfires and
a blaze on the Tasman Peninsula was out of control last
Conditions across Victoria also cooled, after the temperature
soared above 40degC across most of the state on Friday
The state's hottest towns were in the northwest, with Walpeup
and Hopetoun Airport reaching 44.8C.
Dozens of people sought treatment for heat-related illnesses
and the state's CFA website crashed for several hours as
concerned Victorians sought bushfire updates.
A number of total fire bans have been implemented across SA,
with 50 fire crews watching for flare-ups from a controlled
bushfire on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
The threat of more fires eased after cool change swept
through much of the state, dropping temperatures in many
parts to the high 20s.
Some parts of SA reached temperatures in the high 40s on
Friday, with Wudinna, on the Eyre Peninsula, hitting
The NSW Rural Fire Service has established total fire bans in
the northern and southern Riverina districts and the lower
and upper central west plains.
Firefighters fought a blaze on the mid-north coast in the
Booti Booti National Park near Forster that caused the
closure of roads in the area and isolated the town of Green
The small western town of Hay baked as temperatures soared to
Canberra and Perth had the highest capital city temperatures
yesterday, with both reaching 37degC.
The bureau expects temperatures across the country to rise
today and tomorrow before cooling midweek and rising into the
30s again next weekend.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard reminded people extreme heat was
"The best thing people can do is stay in touch with local
authorities" and heed local community warnings, she said.
Health bodies are urging people to drink plenty of water and
stay out of the heat.
The National Heart Foundation is advising those with heart
disease to take it easy during the next few days, with
studies showing an increase in heart attacks and death from
Police have warned that leaving children, elderly people or
pets in cars could prove fatal in hot weather.