Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Kyabram and district residents urged to keep cool

Kyabram is set for a week of temperatures close to 40 degrees.

January 15, 2014 4:35am

Brothers Lachlan and Adam Turpin took the opportunity to cool down and have some fun at Kyabram Swimming Pool as the temperature hit 37 degrees yesterday. The rest of the week is expected to be even hotter with the mercury likely to climb to 43 degress.

Health and emergency services are set to be pushed to the limit as Victoria’s heatwave enters its third day.

Kyabram and district residents have already sweltered through two days of 40°C-plus temperatures, with the hot weather expected to continue until Friday.

Kyabram and District Health Services acting chief executive David Edwards said the community needed to be aware of the risks extreme heat could pose to health.

He said while there had not been an increase in heat-related admissions at the hospital during the past few days, that could change as the high temperatures continued.

During Victoria’s 2009 heatwave, 370 people died from heat-related illnesses and there was a 46 per cent increase in calls to 000 in three days.

‘‘A key message from us is just to be aware of the heat and the risks... check on people who may be at risk such as the frail, elderly or vulnerable,’’ Mr Edwards said.

‘‘Do your best to keep cool, use your air-conditioning if you can and if not, visit a place with air-conditioning such as a library, cinema or shopping mall.

‘‘There are a range of things you can do to prevent yourself from becoming sick from the heat.

‘‘I’d advise people to check the Victorian Department of Health website for advice and information.’’

Ambulance Victoria emergency management manager Paul Holman described this week’s conditions as the worst heatwave since the lead-up to the 2009 Black Saturday fires.

This week’s increased fire risk is at the forefront of Kyabram CFA captain Mick Crompton’s mind.

Mr Crompton said the heatwave would bake Victoria’s bush and grassland, creating perfect bushfire conditions.

He said fires in crops and dry grass were a hazard that made it particularly important that every member of the Kyabram community was ready.

‘‘Grassfires especially can move quickly, which leaves you very little time to respond if you have not prepared and been aware of any warnings,’’ he said.

‘‘Having a good plan for your family’s safety means every member of the family is alert on days of high fire danger and knows what to do straight away if there’s a fire in the area.

‘‘Good preparation means you’re not caught out if something goes wrong; a missed warning, a power failure, a road closure or just bad decisions made in a hurry.’’

Mr Crompton reminded people a zero tolerance approach was still in place and CFA and Kyabram police was enforcing it.

Sweltering temperatures have also affected the V/Line network, with heat timetables operating until at least Friday.

The timetables will apply to Echuca, Shepparton, Albury, Swan Hill, Ararat, Seymour, Bairnsdale, Traralgon, Maryborough, Geelong and Warrnambool trains.

Customers can keep informed by downloading the heat timetable at or phoning 1800800007.

— Read what Shire of Campaspe is doing to help people stay cool on page 4

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