Hot and dry conditions in Melbourne forced the authorities to be on a high alert. On Wednesday morning, the temperature was a cool 14 degrees but by noontime, it increased up to 34 degrees putting firefighters on high alert.

Experts also noted hot and windy conditions. According to the Bureau of Meteorology, strong northerly winds will develop before southwesterly winds come in this afternoon. The Age also reports that the hottest temperature will be felt in Midura. Temperatures in this area will rise up to 38 degrees. Albury comes in second at 35 degrees.

Regions in Victoria, including the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country, Central, North Central and South West are also on high alert. The authorities have issued a total fire ban in these regions. Fires are not allowed in the open air until midnight, reports say.

A CFA spokesman also said that people who live in areas that are at risk of fire must activate their bush fire plan. In the Wimmera region, the authorities also predicted extreme fire danger. The areas include Stawell, Horsham, Hopetoun, Dimboola and Edenhope.

According to the authorities, there is also a forecast of severe fire danger in Mallee, Northern Country, North Central, North East, South West and Central districts, the Age adds. Experts also say that cooler southwest winds would cool the western and central parts of the state in the afternoon and the evening. On Thursday, temperatures will also decrease to 25 degrees and on Friday, down to 21 degrees.

There is also a forecast for a little drizzle on Thursday evening. Rain on Saturday is also predicted. Earlier this month, the Bureau said that this is the hottest February on record. Temperatures reached up to mid-40s.

“An approaching front to the south is now dragging this hot air down across New South Wales,” said NSW Regional Director Stephen Lellyett. “This will lead to widespread severe heatwave conditions and locally extreme heatwave conditions along parts of the coast. Fire weather warnings are also likely during the weekend as the system will lead to increasing wind speeds in conjunction with the extremely hot temperatures.”

This year’s January was also the hottest month on record for Sydney since 1859, the release states. However, authorities from the Bureau of Meteorology have been working closely with the authorities from the NSW Government to make sure that the public is ready for the heatwave conditions.

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