DROVES of hot and bothered residents headed to Queanbeyan Aquatic Centre to cool down amid a week of sweltering temperatures in the high 30s.
More than 1500 visitors hit the local pool this week. And with no end in sight for the hot weather, that number is sure to climb.
Apart from a short reprieve this weekend, the Bureau of Meteorology's Sean Carson said residents should expect more of the same hot and dry weather for the next three months.
"Temperatures are expected to stay above average," the senior meteorologist said.
"This follows on from 2013 which was the second hottest summer in the region on record. Looking on a national level it was Australia hottest year on record."
Weather predictions are not boding well for the Rural Fire Service. Superintendent Tim Carroll said authorities were anticipating a "busier than usual" bush fire season.
A severe bush fire danger rating and total fire ban was imposed on Thursday.
"The Bureau of Meteorology is predicting drier and hotter conditions over the next three months," the Lake George zone district manager said.
"The combination of high temperatures and strong winds are tough conditions for us and also means fires can spread very quickly."
With this in mind, Mr Carroll said residents should continue to be vigilante and keep informed of conditions.
"We urge residents to prepare their bushfire survival plans and to be mindful of the current conditions in their area," he said.
"Listen to the radio for the fire danger rating and continue maintenance around properties."
Mr Carson said the lack of predicted rainfall over the next three months increased the bushfire risk.
"Basically, until the region receives significant rainfall the fire danger will remain very high to severe," he said.
Large patches of highly flammable cured grass around the region weren't helping the cause.
"We had some above average rainfall in September and November ... leading to a lot of grass growth across the ACT and the surrounding region," Mr Carson said.
"As we lead into summer that grass has cured ... when dry it's very flammable."
Mr Carroll said the holiday break had been a relatively quiet period for authorities.
The exception was an eight hectare scrub fire at Bushbell Close, Jerrabomberra on Tuesday, January 7.
NSW Fire and Rescue duty commander Ray Buchanan said they had finalised their investigation into the fire which they deemed suspicious.
"The cause of the fire was undetermined but we're treating it as suspicious given there were no natural causes," he said.