Heatwave imminent with city set to sizzle

TEMPERATURE records could tumble as Bendigo braces for four consecutive days above 40 degrees.

The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast a 39 degree day for Monday, followed by 42, 42, 44 and 41 on Friday.

If it reaches the expected highs it would be the city’s longest spell of consecutive 40 degree days for five years, and could enter the record books if those temperatures extend to a fifth day above 40.

The bureau’s senior duty forecaster Dean Stewart said Bendigo has not seen conditions like this since late January 2009, in the lead-up to the Black Saturday bushfires.

The 44 degrees tipped for Bendigo on Thursday could eclipse the record January high of 43.6 from January 31, 2009.

"At this stage we may break some records around the state with this weather event," Mr Stewart said.

Mr Steward said the forecast for Echuca could equal a 1957 record of six straight days above 40.

He warned there was no guarantee of a noticeable cool change for the region.

“There are some signs of a change for central Victoria next weekend. But it’s too early to say,” he said.

CFA operations manager Mark Gilmore said the scorching temperatures loomed as a heightened fire risk.

He said fire brigades would be busy working with other agencies during the week to minimise threats.

"The message we want to get through is for people to be aware of what to expect and remain alert," he said.

"We really want them to not be doing anything that puts them or the community at risk. Delay anything like mowing or outside work that's not essential because it’s going to be a very, very hot week."

Mr Steward said the wave of hot weather follows record highs across other parts of the country.

“We’ve had a build-up of heat over last couple of weeks - we’ve seen record temperatures in South Australia, parts of NSW and QLD."

"There's a pool of hot air still sitting over the centre of the continent."

Ambulance Victoria acting group manager Brett Drummond said people need to consider the high temperatures and be wary of heat exhaustion.

He said people should stay out of the sun and seek shade wherever they can.

"One of the things that really concerns us is when people over exert themselves on hot days, especially those working for prolonged periods in the sun and those exercising," he said.

"We also encourage people to make regular checks on friends and neighbours, especially the young, those aged over 65 and those with medical conditions and illnesses, just to ensure that they’re coping."

"If you do find someone suffering heat-related distress, call an ambulance immediately."

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