Qld bush fire threat increases

Fire threat increases as below average rainfall predicted


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Smoke billows up from a major fire in the Main Range National Park in a picture from near Warwick.

Smoke billows up from a major fire in the Main Range National Park in a picture from near Warwick.

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QUEENSLAND's bush fire threat remains a major concern.

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QUEENSLAND's bush fire threat remains a major concern heading into Christmas, with more than 20 blazes now burning across the state.

According to the Bureau of Meterology rainfall for October to December is likely to be below average, with high chances of a drier October and November in particular.

The best chance of rain appears to be tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday.

But BOM says those up to 25mm falls will be restricted to primarily to Queensland's south east and north east NSW.

That leaves the vast bulk of the state exposed to extreme 40 degree-plus celcius temperatures and tinder dry fuel loads.

Green Shirts Movement convener Martin Bella it was the largely unmanaged, high level fuel loads that remained the central issue.

The Bureau of Meterology says rainfall for October to December is likely to be below average.

The Bureau of Meterology says rainfall for October to December is likely to be below average.

"We've always had big droughts and we've always had big fires," Mr Bella said.

"But what is happening now is that fuel loads are being allowed to increase to unmanageable levels, and that is making the fires unacceptably worse.

"Because of Queensland's vegetation management laws, and despite what they say, we can't build effective fire breaks and we can't have realistic, managed burnoffs.

"The bureaucracy and nature move at very different rates. We'll always be behind the eight ball until the bureaucracy works with what nature presents us with."

BOM's four day rainfall forecast.

BOM's four day rainfall forecast.

Mr Bella said it was his long held belief that the best time to be making fire breaks was after a fire has been through.

"That allows you to see the topography and where effective fire breaks need to be maintained over a time," he said. "Fire can't occur without a fuel load. The problem is that vegetation laws ensure the fuel load is becoming an increasing bigger problem."

LNP Opposition Fire and Emergency Services spokesman, Lachlan Millar, said the Palaszczuk Government was still to act on an Auditor General's report completed in 2015.

"Some of these fires are coming from national parks and state owned land where the fuel loads are too high and fire breaks aren't being built ," Mr Millar said.

"Surely the government has to get its house in order and be a good neighbour to private property owners. More needs to be done to reduce the threat to people and property.

"We desperately need a parliamentary inquiry into bush fires so we can get to the bottom of why Queensland has been placed at risk and to develop a practical way forward."

According to BOM below average rainfall is expected across most of Australia, excluding northern Western Australia, for the remainder of 2019. Major climate influences include a positive Indian Ocean Dipole.

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