Hot stuff: prepare to swelter today

ICY poles are at the ready – Eureka Swimming Complex is the only outdoor pool open today amid a heat surge.

The City of Ballarat’s four other outdoor pools – Buninyong, Wendouree, Black Hill and Brown Hill – are scheduled to open on Saturday, the first day of summer but two days short of this summer prelude.

Weatherzone experts tip Ballarat’s November heat record will rise today, potentially passing the 37.3C temperature set in 1982.

Ballarat’s hottest November day since was 37.2C in 2006.

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Widespread temperatures across the state are predicted to fall between the mid to high 30s. The Mallee is expected to swelter near 45C.

Ballarat YMCA chief executive officer Malcolm Healey said more than 1000 Ballarat people were expected to visit Eureka Pool today.

Extra lifeguards are at the ready and Eureka will open its giant slide today from 4pm after safety checks were finalised yesterday ahead of schedule.

Warmer weather this week and today’s forecast has people scrambling to buy anything to cool them down.

Tanya Daniels The Good Guys store manager Laurie Evans said customers had been streaming in from as far as Ararat and Stawell to ensure they were armed to combat the heat.

“All we’ve been doing is selling fans. It seems everyone waits until the hot weather is forecast to come in here to buy them,” Mr Evans said.

“Portable air conditioners, a lot of fans especially for bedrooms, evaporative coolers because they’re cheap and split systems are all selling well.”

Cold Rock Icecreamery franchisees Robyn and David Harmer were making extra mixture yesterday to ensure everyone who wanted an ice-cream got one.

Ms Harmer said today would be no different to any usual summer day, but the warmer weather was good for trade.

Ambulance Victoria yesterday issued a reminder for people to take care of themselves and their neighbours – particularly the young and elderly – to stay out of the sun and take adequate breaks in the shade if you work outdoors.

“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,” Ambulance Victoria acting group manager Brett Drummond said.

Greencross vet Nicky Stone said the same should go for pets.

Ms Stone suggests two drink bowls for dogs, in case one gets knocked over, whether they are inside or outside pets, and that they have access to lots of shade and cool spots indoors and out.

The region’s sport has already started to take precautionary action.

Ballarat Cricket Association’s round one Twenty20 bout between Wendouree and Brown Hill has been moved to the Bulls’ home at Progress Park where there is more shade.

Meanwhile, the CFA is in the consultation phase for fire restrictions for the region and hopes to release more details early next month.

melanie.whelan@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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