No relief from heatwave

WHILE Orange may have been spared from any fires during yesterday’s scorcher, eight Canobolas zone volunteer firefighters are on standby for the growing bushfire emergency in South Australia.

As Adelaide experienced its fourth day of temperatures above 40 degrees firefighters  were kept busy with more than 200 fires in just 24 hours.

NSW Rural Fire Service Canobolas Zone operational services co-ordinator Brett Bowden said six Orange firefighters and two from Cowra were ready to help if required.

“They must have catastrophic or severe weather forecast and they’ll be going over to manage any [extra] fires that may happen,” he said.

“Their people [firefighters] would have been wearing out, you can only go for so long.

“It’s a preemptive task force.”

At 4pm yesterday Orange had hit 33.9 degrees.

THE TOUGHEST JOBS IN THE SUMMER SWELTER

GALLERY: ORANGE BEATS THE HEAT

Weatherzone meteorologist Ben McBurney said the hot weather would continue until Tuesday with little chance of rain.

“There are light falls expected on Sunday, and on Wednesday it becomes more likely of heavier rain,” he said.

Temperatures are predicted to reach a top of 34 today, with 35 on the way for Saturday and 33 for Sunday.

A very high fire danger remains in place today for Orange, Cabonne and the central west.

At 4pm yesterday Bathurst  was 37.7 degrees and Dubbo was 36.4.

Further west Bourke was 39.4 degrees at 4pm yesterday, while Broken Hill was a scorching 40.4 degrees.

PETS FEEL THE HEAT TOO

RSPCA  tips to cool down pets:

* Place extra bowls of water near your pets in case one is accidentally tipped over.

* Give them takeaway containers filled with beef or chicken stock that has been frozen overnight.

* Put ice cubes in water bowls, although some animals avoid floating ice cubes so, alternatively, freeze half a water bowl the night before and top with cool water.

* Erect extra shade areas in the backyard using shade cloths and umbrellas.

* Fill paddling pools with water (under supervision).

* Never leave dogs in cars, even with the windows down as dogs can’t sweat, and heat stress and death can occur within six minutes.

* Only walk dogs in the early morning or late evening.

* Spray pet birds with a mist pump or install a bird bath.

* Cool a ceramic tile or oven pan in the freezer and put it out for small dogs and cats to lie on.

nadine.morton@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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