A weekend of extreme fire danger

Conditions combine to create a tinderbox

News
Aa

A fire weather warning has been issued for central and southern parts of the state.

Aa

All signs of last weekend's rain event have disappeared as high temperatures and strong winds combine to create a tinderbox.

The Bureau of Meteorology issued a fire weather warning on Friday morning for central and southern parts of the state, with conditions expected to produce extreme fire danger in some regions.

BoM forecaster Jess Gardner said the warning was a result of hot and dry conditions, and strong and gusty west to southwesterly winds.

"That's all combining to give us some enhanced fire dangers; we've got extreme through the Darling Downs and Granite Belt today, and also the Southeast Coast, and severe through the Maranoa and Warrego, Wide Bay and Burnett, and the Central Highlands and Coalfields," Ms Gardner said.

She said the worst of the fire dangers would be on Friday with conditions easing back on Saturday, but the fire danger ratings would remain at very high levels throughout the weekend.

"We'll continue to see challenging firefighting conditions through the weekend even though the wind and temperatures do ease.

"Into early next week, we're looking at things staying very dry still, those fire dangers up at very high continuing, things will be less windy but remaining very dry, and not really expecting to see any rainfall anywhere in the southern half of the state until the end of next week."

Queensland Fire and Emergency personnel worked overnight into Friday morning to control a large fire at Clumber, near Boonah, while other bushfires are currently being monitored in central and southern parts.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing called on Queenslanders to be on high alert over the coming days.

"Queensland has experienced intense bushfire activity already this season and this has occurred on the back of weather conditions like what is expected... this weekend," Mr Wassing said.

"With that in mind, we have local fire bans in place across large parts of the state and have crews ready to respond when and if required."

Mr Wassing urged residents to take precautions and avoid activities that could start fires.

"Residents should not use outdoor machinery and power tools near vegetation as one stray spark is all it takes to start a bushfire," he said.

"This includes the use of lawn mowers, slashers, tractors, grinders and welders."

Mr Wassing said it was important Queenslanders kept up-to-date with the latest bushfire warnings and knew what to do in the event of a fire.

"Fires that start under these weather conditions can be very fast-moving and extremely difficult for firefighters to contain," he said.

"That is why people must have a Bushfire Survival Plan, be mindful of local conditions if travelling and know what to do in an emergency.

"Practical steps people can take include identifying the routes they will take if they need to evacuate, where they plan to evacuate to and ensuring their emergency kits are stocked and current.

"People should be familiar with where to go to stay informed with the latest bushfire warnings and other important information, and follow instructions issued by emergency services.

"Additionally, I encourage anyone who notices fire activity over the coming days to report it to Triple Zero (000) immediately.

"This ensures our crews have the best chance of stopping a fire before it gets out of hand and potentially becomes a threat to lives and property."

Parts of New South Wales are also facing extreme fire conditions this weekend, with the RFS issuing total fire bans in the New England area - which encompasses Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Uralla, Walcha and Armidale - as well as the Northern Slopes.

A severe fire danger is forecast for the Northern Slopes, which covers the Gunnedah, Gwydir, Inverell, Liverpool Plains and Tamworth areas.

All state forests from the north of Sydney to the Queensland border and the Northern Tablelands have been closed to the public, which will continue on Friday and Saturday.

Aa

From the front page

Sponsored by