Fire and strong wind warnings still in place as a heatwave conditions ease across south-eastern states

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Sweltering conditions have eased in much of Victoria and South Australia, but the heat is expected to continue in New South Wales and Queensland into Australia Day.
Sweltering conditions have eased in much of Victoria and South Australia, but fire danger remains and the heat is expected to continue in New South Wales and Queensland into Australia Day.

Key points: Total fire bans are in place in districts in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania

Total fire bans are in place in districts in Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania A cool change hit Melbourne earlier than expected, seeing temperatures dramatically drop

A cool change hit Melbourne earlier than expected, seeing temperatures dramatically drop Parts of NSW and Queensland are expected to maintain high temperatures into Australia Day

It was a hot start across Victoria on Monday after what the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) described as an "oppressive" night.

After temperatures reached around 37 degrees Celsius on Sunday afternoon, the mercury reached 38C in some parts of Victoria by 10:30am on Monday.

In Melbourne, Laverton recorded the city's hottest temperature, reaching 41.5C at 12:40pm.

A cool change that began in the state's south-west was not expected to reach Melbourne until 5:00pm, but moved quickly to arrive much sooner than forecast.

The temperature at Avalon dropped by 10C in the space of an hour.

"In Melbourne, the heatwave is over," senior BOM meteorologist Dean Narramore said shortly after 2:00pm.

Albury locals took to the trees at Noreuil Park in Albury to beat the heat. ( ABC News: Jackson Peck )

Temperatures across much of the state's north reached the high 30s or low 40s, with Shepparton and Yarrawonga recording highs of roughly 42C in the early afternoon and staying warm into the evening.

"For northern and eastern Victoria, the cool change can't come fast enough," Mr Narramore said.

Victorian fire authorities declared a total fire ban for the Mallee, Wimmera, Northern Country, North East, East Gippsland and North Central forecast regions on Monday.

Strengthening northerly winds had authorities on high alert for bushfires.

A grassfire…
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