Emergency services have issued a heatwave warning across the state with large parts of NSW and the ACT set to experience severe heatwave conditions this week.
The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting intense heat across the coast and Canberra, with warm conditions expected to build through the week.
People are warned they should not expect a reprieve until at least the weekend in many areas.
Some parts of the region are expected to reach temperatures into the 40s, with the Batemans Bay forecast remaining in the low to mid-30s through to Saturday.
The State Emergency Operations Controller is urging residents to monitor weather reports and follow health and safety advice.
NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Jeff Loy advised people to take extra care in the intense heat.
“As the weather heats up, I cannot stress strongly enough to motorists that it’s not only an offence for children or pets to be left unattended in a vehicle, it can be deadly,” Deputy Commissioner Loy said.
“It can be just as dangerous to leave the elderly and disabled members of the community in cars during days of extreme heat.”
If you see pets, children or vulnerable people located in a car, phone Triple Zero (000) immediately.
Deputy Commissioner Loy said one of the other main concerns is that the school holidays are only halfway through and there are thousands of tourists, campers, and other holidaymakers in unfamiliar environments.
“We are urging everyone to take extra care, especially when swimming; whether at the beach, pools or in rivers,” he said.
“Every year thousands of people require rescuing from the surf, some needlessly drown.”
The heatwave conditions are expected to bring elevated fire risks across NSW and the ACT throughout the week.
A Fire Weather Warning and Total Fire Ban are already in effect for NSW Southern Slopes for Tuesday.
Heatwave conditions are also known to have significant health impacts and the community is warned to avoid strenuous activities where possible, remain hydrated and check on the safety of older or vulnerable members of the community.
Stay safe in the heat – a message from NSW Health
The Southern NSW Local Health District is urging people to take the risk of heat- related illness seriously.
Southern NSW Local Health District Director Public Health Tracey Oakman said while heat-related illness may affect anyone, certain groups are particularly vulnerable.
These include the over 75s, infants and children, people with a chronic medical condition and people who live alone.
“Every year hot weather and heat waves cause illness, hospitalisations and sometimes even deaths,” Mrs Oakman said.
“During hot weather, it is very important to stay in regular contact with your elderly friends, neighbours and relatives, and to look out for other vulnerable members of your community.
“Heat puts a lot of strain on the body and can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It can also make underlying health conditions worse. However, being prepared and taking some simple precautions can reduce the risk of heat- related illness.”
These simple precautions will help people minimise their risk of heat-related illness:
• Drink plenty of water, and remember to carry some with you when you’re out and about.
• If you are travelling, make sure you take water to drink in case you break down or are delayed.
• Avoid alcoholic, hot or sugary drinks.
• Plan your day around the heat. Stay indoors between 11am and 5pm and minimise physical activity.
• Keep the sun out of your house by shading windows with an awning, shade- cloth or plants. Shutting curtains will also help.
Livestock and pet owners are also being urged to ensure adequate clean water and shaded areas are always available. Additionally, animals should never be left in confined, unventilated areas.
Members of the public should also regularly visit the Rural Fire Service website at www.rfs.nsw.gov.au for updated bush fire warnings and information. For updated weather forecasts and warnings visit www.bom.gov.au