Time spent: January 7th, 1979 | Canberra weather

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Canberra had its hottest day the day before 1979. The temperature officially hit 37.7 degrees in the afternoon. And January 7 was even hotter, with a maximum temperature forecast of 38 degrees. The office temperatures were recorded in the shade and the temperatures in the sun were much higher. A report from Aranda was that the temperature on the grass at 3 p.m. was 43 degrees (108 Fahrenheit). People sought relief from private and public swimming pools and crowded swimming spots in rivers. At the Olympic Civic Pool, for example, around 4,000 people crowded during the day – about three or four times more than a normal Saturday. Despite the heat and the very high fire danger, the ACT Bushfire Council was not called to any fire. ACT firefighters only witnessed two very small grass fires. “It’s very unusual in this heat,” a council spokesperson said. “We didn’t even have a smoke sighting.” Four ACT fire observation towers were occupied throughout the day and the council helicopter was on patrol. But firefighters have been busy checking automatic alarms in buildings that went off because of the heat. The highest temperature recorded in Canberra is 44 degrees Celsius, January 4, 2020. Visit: trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/page/15958593

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