Time and again survivors said there had been no warning for their street, their town, their valley. But after weeks of appalling heat, Brumby had warned last Friday that the next day was shaping as "the worst day in the history of the state".
The Premier urged Victorians: do not travel, do not go out, stay at home and check on your neighbours.
The CFA chief officer, Russell Rees, agreed, declaring that his fire-fighting crews were entering uncharted territory. Laying out the horrifying conjunction of Melbourne's hot northern winds, low humidity and a south-westerly wind change with no rain, he said: "If I said [these conditions were] bloody horrible, I'm underestimating it - I have never seen figures like these."
Saturday was the hottest day in Melbourne's history: 46.4 degrees. Worse, the searing heat was matched with 100 kmh winds
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