AFTER braving a series of scorchers, Ballarat endured winter-like conditions yesterday with temperatures plummeting into the low teens for most of the day.
But hot weather and high fire danger is expected to return later in the week with the mercury set to sore into the mid-to-high 30s.
Fire fighters made the most of consecutive cooler days by extinguishing blazes at Chepstowe and Blampied.
Weatherzone meteorologist Ben McBurney said yesterday was the coldest day since December 4 with a maximum of 18 degrees at 4.30pm. The mercury took until 2.30pm to break the 15 degree mark with last night’s minimum predicted at just six.
“Cyclone Narelle has been feeding moisture into a jet stream with thick cloud spreading from Western Australia to Victoria which is keeping the temperature down,” Mr McBurney said.
“But then it’s going to get quite warm with skies getting clearer in the next couple of days. (Today) should start heating up and by ... Thursday it will be in the mid-to-high 30s.
“It could be quite windy and very high fire danger but a cool change should come through late in the day.”
CFA operations officer at the State Control Centre Dave Harris said the upcoming warm weather was a concern.
“At the minute we’re planning for a couple of high-to-very-high fire danger days leading up to Thursday, which will be the next day of significant fire danger,” he said.
“People need to take this opportunity now to think about what that means to their bushfire survival plans.”
Mr Harris said the cooler days not only helped fire fighters put out several fires in the region, but to prepare staff for the next bout of hot weather.
“What we do is take time to rest our people to reduce fatigue as well as doing some planning from what needs to be in place for Thursday,” he said.
“We’re looking at incident management and the distribution of fire fighting resources.
“We’re also still doing work to support fellow agencies in Tasmania and New South Wales who gave so much support to us in 2009.”
Residents can stay informed about fire danger by checking the CFA website, calling the Victorian Bushfire Information Line on 1800 240 667, listening to emergency broadcasters the ABC and local radio as well as through Facebook and Twitter.