Residents beat the heat

SPLASH. Sisters Danielle, 13, left, and Lexi Schmidt, 10, cooled off at Kerang Swimming Pool's splash park on Saturday morning.

SPLASH. Sisters Danielle, 13, left, and Lexi Schmidt, 10, cooled off at Kerang Swimming Pool's splash park on Saturday morning.

RESIDENTS found the best way they could to keep cool on Saturday as the district experienced its hottest day in 11 months.

The Bureau of Meteorology's Kerang weather station recorded a maximum temperature of 43.6 degrees - the town's first 40-plus day since mid-February.

Local swimming pools and waterways were a popular choice as the heat increased during the day.

The weather also impacted on the planned resumption of summer sports competition, with the Loddon Valley Tennis Association and Northern District Cricket Association abandoning all planned games.

The Northern District Bowls Division also implemented earlier start times as part of its heat policy, with only seven matches completed by the time the temperature reached 40 degrees.

Meanwhile, emergency personnel were on alert during the day thanks to the extreme fire danger.

A fire burned 22 hectares of land and 350 hay bales at Barham during the morning.

Authorities were called to a Moulamein Road property at 11.14am, with crews - including those from Barham, Koondrook, Tullakool and Wakool, as well as two private unites - takong one hour to control the blaze.

Fire authorities believe that the fire was caused by a vehicle driving past with mechanical problems, which may have caused sparks to fly out and ignite nearby dry grass.

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