LAP IT UP: Veterinarian Claire Stevens  says pet owners need to give their animals more water during summer.
LAP IT UP: Veterinarian Claire Stevens says pet owners need to give their animals more water during summer. Scott Powick

Temperatures rising for Christmas period

VOLUNTEER fire brigade crews across the region will be on high alert with above-average temperatures predicted for Christmas.

Rural Fire Service Far North Coast Operations Officer Matt Inwood said with an influx of visitors on the roads, and plenty of people enjoying the summer break, it was vital for people to be vigilant, both in the traffic and in terms of fire safety.

"It's never a quiet period for us, for a whole host of reasons,” he said.

Mr Inwood said increased traffic led to a higher chance of motor vehicle crashes, while a large number of people camping and using barbecues typically led to increased fire dangers.

"At this stage they're saying it will be probably warmer than average,” Mr Inwood said.

"We'll certainly see the dryness increasing around the area. That's something we need to be mindful of.”

He warned fire permits across the Far North Coast were suspended from December 23-January 3 inclusive. Anyone who lights a fire during this time could face serious penalties.

"People have to be vigilant in what they're doing, particularly people who are camping,” he said.

Meanwhile, the World Meteorological Organisation has said 2017 is likely to be one of the three hottest years on record.

The WMO's provisional statement on the State of the Climate, which covers January to September, warned of further high- impact natural disasters after three years of record- breaking temperatures.

The Tweed is set to sizzle this week with Murwillum- bah tipped to reach 33C for much of the week and Tweed Heads maximums reaching 28C Thursday and Sunday, with 27C forecast for Friday and Saturday.

Craig Ryan, a meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology, said a few showers and possible storms might dampen the warm weather later in the week, but no significant total rainfalls were expected.

The forecast prompted Casuarina veterinarian Dr Claire Stevens to urge pet owners to take extra care of their animals during the heat.

"It's actually scary how little water pet owners think their animals need for their daily requirements,” Dr Stevens said.

She recommended at least two bowls of water a day for small dogs, and 10 bowls of water for a dog of 35kg or over.

She said black-coloured dogs and flat-nosed breeds (like bulldogs and pugs) were at particular risk.



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