South Australia has escaped relatively unscathed after the first day of an expected five-day heatwave with temperatures pushing into the 40s in Adelaide and many regional centres.
The conditions prompted a severe heat warning from the State Emergency Service and the Country Fire Service (CFS) is on high alert.
Conditions in some centres were hotter than the forecast highs.
CFS crews were deployed to a stubble fire near Stansbury, on Yorke Peninsula, which they quickly brought under control.
Among the hottest spots in SA on Monday were Port Augusta, in the mid-north, with 45C, while Tarcoola, in the far north, and Wudinna, on Eyre Peninsula, reached 44.2C.
Roxby Downs topped 44C.
The coolest spot in SA was Stenhouse Bay, on the tip of Yorke Peninsula, where the mercury peaked at 27.8C.
In Adelaide the temperature reached 42.1C at 3.39pm (CDST), two degrees above the forecast.
The Bureau of Meteorology forecasts tops of 42C on Tuesday, 43C on Wednesday and Thursday and 40C on Friday before a cool change sweeps across the state.
Premier Jay Weatherill has urged all people to take care of those most vulnerable in the heat, including elderly relatives, friends and neighbours.
He says people without air-conditioning at home should consider heading to cooler public facilities such as cinemas, shopping centres and libraries.
The air-conditioned Adelaide Central Bus Station will be open at all hours to provide respite.
Transport Department staff will distribute bottled water to public transport commuters while the extreme conditions persist.