Australian fire authorities on alert with hot weekend looming

15:10, January 08, 2010      

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Australian state Victoria's fire authorities are moving to high alert over the weekend and into Monday with temperatures expected to hit 41 degrees in parts of the state.

Authorities are particularly concerned about thousands of people in coastal and regional holiday spots who may not be familiar with the area.

Country Fire Authority (CFA) spokesman Stephen Walls said holidaymakers should have fire plans.

"They need to monitor forecasts several times a day and don't just tune out from what the day will be like," Walls told Australian Associated Press on Friday.

He said Saturday could bring lightning in parts of the state while on Sunday temperatures could reach 40 degrees north of the ranges.

But the big worry is on Monday when the mercury is tipped to hit 41 degrees.

Police are asking members of the public to be vigilant and keep their eye out for anyone acting suspiciously.

"Emergency services agencies are doing everything they can to reduce the number of fires this season and this will be challenging enough without having to deal with people deliberately lighting fires," a police officer said.

Source: Xinhua
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