Summer arrives early
BILAMBIL Valley resident Julie Hall felt like she was going to faint after just ten minutes in the sun yesterday.
Mrs Hall and her family suffered through sweltering temperatures up to 40 degrees at their house.
“It's always hotter here in the valley than in Tweed Heads. You've got to add an extra five or 10 degrees just to get it right,” Mrs Hall said.
“It has just been freakishly hot this time though. It wasn't this bad last summer.”
Mrs Hall took her daughter Edenn, 10, out of school early yesterday due to the heat.
“I walked down the road to school to get her and back and I felt like fainting when I walked in the door,” Mrs Hall said.
“Edenn had to get me a wet cloth to put on my forehead because I went so red.
“We just couldn't believe how hot it was the whole day.”
Mrs Hall first noticed the rising temperature early in the morning.
“We woke up at 5am and it was cooler inside the house than outside. I've lived here 31 years and it has never been this hot in winter,” she said.
“I think a lot of residents out here feel this way.”
By 11am temperatures reached 36 degrees in the shade according to Mrs Hall, before finally cooling about 2pm.
The Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) yesterday predicted another scorcher for today with a maximum of 30 degrees in Tweed Heads.
Murwillumbah recorded 35.5 degrees at 3pm yesterday, the hottest day of the month.
Similar weather is expected until at least Thursday.
New South Wales Rural Fire Service inspector Laurence McCoy said the unfathomable warmth had firefighters bracing for an early start to the bushfire season.
“BOM say temperatures will exceed the average and there is less chance of rain, it's going to be a warm and dry season. Between now and October is the worst time for the Tweed.”
The BOM website yesterday listed the far north coast at very high fire danger.
Mr McCoy said simple steps like clearing long grass, clearing gutters of leaves and trimming overhanging branches should be taken as a precaution.
The bush fire season officially starts on September 1.
A total fire ban has already been ordered for South East Queensland until midnight tonight.
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