CENTRAL Victoria will be at a high risk of fire over the coming days as a heatwave sweeps across the state.
Emergency services have warned heat will pose a risk to people's health and heighten the chance of fire.
Temperatures are likely to peak on Monday, with gusty winds and potential dry lightning strikes heightening fire risk.
The wave of heat follows an already hotter than average December.
Read more: December heat record set
An average maximum of about 40 degrees forecast across the Victoria for Saturday, Sunday and Monday. Bendigo is forecast to hit 41 degrees on Monday, with a minimum of just 23 degrees.
Bendigo is expected to sizzle through temperatures of at least 39 degrees on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with overnight lows of just 21 degrees during the weekend.
Read more: Flammable future set to hit central Victoria
Castlemaine, Maryborough and Heathcote are forecast to experience similarly high temperatures.
Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Michael Efron said the Bendigo region had experienced exceptionally high temperatures, and very little rainfall, during December.
He said Bendigo's 2019 December's average was about 30 degrees, where the average for the month was 27.5 degrees.
Mr Efron said thunderstorms were possible over the weekend, but little rain was likely. He said danger would peak on Monday, as northerly winds picked up before a cool change.
Victoria's Emergency Management Commissioner Andrew Crisp said emergency services could not afford to take their eye off any part of the state, with several fires already burning in Gippsland.
"No matter what happens we can't afford to take out eye off any part of the state," Mr Crisp said.
"We've got to be vigilant no matter where we are across any part of the state as a whole."
Mr Crisp urged Victorians to look out for their health and that of neighbours, and stay home with the air conditioning on if need be.
The Department of Health and Human Services has warned Victoria's northern country, taking in Bendigo to Echuca, may reach temperatures above which heat related illness and mortality increase on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
The north central district, taking in Maryborough and Castlemaine, is subject to similar warning for Saturday and Sunday.
Mr Crisp urged people to look before they leave their cars, citing a number of children and pets rescued from cars already this summer.
Older people, young children and those with medical conditions are at the highest risk of heat related illness.
Find out more about heat health safety, at: betterhealth.vic.gov.au/campaigns/survive-the-heat
Emergency information is available at: emergency.vic.gov.au/
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