We did a report
on the extreme heat and fire weather which will be good if you're looking for specific numbers, although the text is a bit on the technical side. Not so much background educational material on our site these days so the other sites will be good background.
Drop me an e-mail (blair.trewin(at)bom.gov.au) if you want to set up a call and we can make the time differences work (evening for me/morning for you should work).
Picola's definitely an obscure spot - I had to look up where it was (which in turn reminded me that I went through there last August). According to Wikipedia, "The Picola Hotel offers a variety of services, from meals and functions, weekly raffles, and is now the local milk bar, community postal agent and V/Line ticket agency. " - sounds like a classic country pub (especially the meat raffle).