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http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/a-city-paralysed-by-heat-bushfires-and-blackouts/2009/01/31/1232818794784.html


VICTORIANS are bracing themselves for another scorching week after recovering from a record heatwave with temperatures of up to 43degrees for three days straight.

Melbourne recorded the hottest day since 1939 on Friday when the thermometer rose to 45.1degrees at 4.28pm.

It is the hottest and longest recorded heatwave since 1855.

The city set another record when about 500,000 homes and businesses were left without power after an explosion in an electrical substation on Friday afternoon caused the worst electrical blackout in Victoria's history. More than 10,000 homes remained without power yesterday as energy providers scrambled to fix damaged transmission lines.

Full power was not expected to be restored until this evening.

Victoria's Premier, John Brumby, defended the state's power system against criticism over the blackout.

"We're in uncharted waters, unprecedented conditions, and with the week and hot weather [we have had], some of these systems have never been designed to operate in 44- to 45-degree heat and barring any catastrophic incidents, power supplies today will be fine," Mr Brumby said.

Victoria's train services suffered in the heat, with 17 cancellations on Melbourne's suburban train line and five cancellations on country lines yesterday.

And a massive bushfire in the Latrobe Valley, which appears to have been deliberately lit, has so far destroyed up to 20 homes and a forest plantation in the East Gippsland region.

Two bushfires joined to become one massive blaze of 6000 hectares along the Strzelecki Ranges.

More than 500 firefighters tried to contain the northern edge of the fire, which is just two kilometres from a major transmission line supplying electricity to Melbourne.

The Bureau of Meteorology predicts another week with 30-degree-plus temperatures for coastal areas in Victoria, and even hotter inland.

Victorian ambulance services had to deal with a record number of emergency calls - a 71per cent increase on the daily number of requests for help - on Friday, with 159 patients suffering heat exposure.

South Australia also suffered from five straight days of temperatures in the 40s, with six deaths reported yesterday, and 24 deaths on Friday.

Meanwhile, NSW firefighters are still battling an uncontained bushfire that has burned nearly 2000hectares of bushland in the past 11 days on the South Coast.

The fire, which appeared to have been started by a lightning storm, is burning in a remote area of the Budawang National Park about 30 kilometres north-west of Bateman's Bay.

Eleven water-bombing helicopters have been used, with the inaccessible terrain making it difficult for firefighters to battle the blaze from the ground. Last night there were no reports of injuries or damage to private property.

 

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Hope things cool down for you real soon, but hey you could send just a little heat this way and It would be o.k! ;) :laugh:
 

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I will do my best Di.

I just feel so sorry for the elderly that have passed away due to the heat. And I also really feel for those poor people who have lost their homes because some mongrel decided to light a bushfire :'( :( it's so unfair!
 

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Yikes...hope it cools down soon! If I did the math right in my head, that's over 110 degrees F. That IS hot.

I'll never understand why people get a kick out of devastating other people. Very sad someone set that fire.
 

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Gail - yes it's around 110F.

They brought in new legislation I think it was 2 years ago that "firebugs" who are caught are tried in court to face a prison sentence... I agree that these crimes need harsh penalities. If someone dies in the blaze then obviously it is charged as murder. I am so glad that no-one has died in these new fires at this stage, but it would be so horrible losing all your valuables and sentimentals. What about if your dog was crated inside in air-con while you were at work? :scare: The thought is terrifying...
 

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Oh I feel your pain and pray it ends soon. For us 110 is hot but normal...it has to get above 117F before we start to whine loud. The hottest it has ever been here in Phoenix was 123F.

We have such tight restrictions on fire in the summer a lot of ours are lightening caused from our monsoon storms but there is always some idiot who decides to start a camp fire while camping during fire restrictions. About 2 hours drive north of us is 7000 foot mountains that have tall pines and 30 or 40 degrees cooler. So camping is a nice get away but until enough rain comes in from the monsoons they ban all open fires..you even have to smoke in your cars with the windows closed.

Arson has always been a crime but a few years back an idiot decided to start a signal fire as her car broke down on a road in the middle of nowhere, that was closed to traffic, and started a fire that burnt down 80 or 90 homes and thousands of acres of prestine forest and they couldn't charge her with a crime...if you don't think there wasn't an out cry about that. The law has now been changed.

Prayers for a quick end to your heat wave, stay safe and remember to drink lots of water and avoid the heat as much as possible.
 

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G'day,

It'll go way into Feb, no worries about that. We've had a pretty easy Summer so far, was only a matter of time before the bushfire season kicked in and temperatures kicked up.

Cheers,

Pottsie
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pottsie said:
G'day,

It'll go way into Feb, no worries about that. We've had a pretty easy Summer so far, was only a matter of time before the bushfire season kicked in and temperatures kicked up.

Cheers,

Pottsie
Take it easy down there mate!! Hope things settle for you soon!

cheers Sarah
 

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well, we're bracing ourselves for 2 x 44 degree days here in Sydney this weekend. :scared: I think i'll be locking myself in the house with the air-con and my fully downloaded Season 3 of Heroes hahaha...
 

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G'day,

sarah said:
well, we're bracing ourselves for 2 x 44 degree days here in Sydney this weekend. :scared: I think i'll be locking myself in the house with the air-con and my fully downloaded Season 3 of Heroes hahaha...
Seems you poor buggers get it a bit longer than us then. We get to burst into flame tomorrow (~44) before a cool change comes through, and we see temps back in the 20s :D

Cheers,

Pottsie
 
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