Gold Coasters flock to the beach

Thousands of locals have chosen our shoreline as the best place to cool-off with inland temperatures soaring to 40 degrees this weekend.

It is no wonder the ocean is a top spot to escape the summer heatwave, with the water temperature at around 23 degrees.

Council Lifeguard Scott Franzmann warns that the sand will be red-hot under the toes though.

“There will be a lot of people doing the hot sand shuffle today,” said Lifeguard Franzmann.

“The sand will get quite warm, so a good idea to wear a pair of shoes or thongs.”

It may not be the best conditions for swimmers however, following this weeks King Tide.

“There’s a lot of water movement with a fairly strong current moving from south to north, so just asking people to stay nice and close.”

Tourists and locals alike are being reminded to stay within the patrolled areas.

“Just ask the lifeguards and lifesavers for any advice and always stick between those red and yellow flags.”

Weather bureau issues fire weather warning

FIRE WEATHER: THE Bureau of Meteorology issued a lengthy Fire Weather Warning for several forecast districts, including the Southeast Coast, as temperatures soared across the region on Saturday.

Strong and gusty winds associated with a surface trough combined with hot conditions resulted in Severe Fire Dangers for a large part of southern Queensland on Saturday.

Severe Fire Danger is forecast for the following forecast districts on Saturday 4 January:

1) Central Highlands and Coalfields
2) Darling Downs and Granite Belt
3) Wide Bay and Burnett
4) Southeast Coast

The Rural Fire Service Queensland advises that fires may be unpredictable, uncontrollable and fast-moving.

The Rural Fire Service Queensland advises you check your bushfire survival plan now. Residents are urged to monitor the fire and weather situation in any way possible through www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au, television or radio.

Remember to call Triple Zero if you see a fire.

The Rural Fire Service Queensland advises that if you are in an area of Severe Fire Danger leaving is the safest option for your survival.

If you plan to leave finalise your options and leave early on the day. Only stay if your home is well prepared and well constructed and you can actively defend it.

The Rural Fire Service also advises residents to prepare for the emotional, mental and physical impact of defending your property – if in doubt, leave early.

For information on Fire Bans and how to Prepare. Act. Survive. Visit the Rural Fire Service web page at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au or call the hotline on 1800 020 440.

RACQ CareFlight warns hot weather can be fatal

WITH temperatures having already soared into the 40s across parts of the Gold Coast today and even hotter weather forecast for tomorrow (Saturday), RACQ CareFlight Rescue is urging people to take care in the heat.

“Every summer we get calls to assist people with heat exhaustion and heat stroke,” CareFlight Medical Services Clinical Director Dr Tim Harraway said.

Doctor Harraway said there were simple steps people could take to reduce their risk of heat stress.

“We’d recommend drinking plenty of water; your fluid intake really should increase at this time of year anyway.

“Dress appropriately, in cool, light clothing.

“And try and stay out of the heat, so seek shade or even better remain in air conditioning during the hottest part of the day.

“If you don’t have air conditioning go somewhere that does!  It’s important to keep your core body temperature down.

“We tend to see heat related fatalities during prolonged periods of hot weather, like a heatwave, rather than on isolated hot days,” explained Dr Harraway.

“It sounds simple enough but people are busy, especially at this time of year, and don’t take the time to look after themselves.”

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, faintness, a rapid pulse, cold clammy skin and profuse sweating.

“Once heat stroke sets in, sweating stops, the patient can become unconscious, suffer seizures or heart failure and die.

“A body temperature of 42 degrees Celsius can be fatal,” he said.

RACQ CareFlight Rescue’s medical team recommend taking the following actions for a person suffering a heat related illness.

· Move the person to a cool place (shady or air conditioned area)
· Lay the person down supporting and elevating their legs slightly
· Remove any excessive clothing
· Cool the person using wet towels and ice packs and fan them down
· If they are conscious and able to drink offer small sips of cool water
· Phone triple zero for assistance

Children, the elderly and pregnant or breast feeding mothers are most susceptible to heat related illnesses.

“Children tend to be more active and are more likely to over exert themselves or play outdoors in the sun,” Dr Harraway said.

“The elderly, particularly those on medications or suffering heart disease, will also succumb to heat stress more quickly.

“It’s important to check on elderly neighbours or family during the hot weather, it may save their life.”

Extreme demand for electricity as temps soar

THE ELECTRICITY network is currently under extreme demand as temperatures continue to soar to unprecedented levels across Southeast Queensland.

Peak times for electricity use in Summer is identified as being between the hours of 4pm and 8pm as thousands of people turn on air-conditioners, TVs, washing machines and other appliances in the home.

The network demand meter (pictured) shows the current demand for electricity in South East Queensland.

4.20pm demand reading: 4096(MW) – EXTREME
4.30pm demand reading:
4127(MW) – EXTREME
4.40pm demand reading: 4102(MW) – EXTREME

Record summer peak: 4760 (MW) Summer 2009/10

During summer between 4pm and 8pm, you can help reduce peak demand by taking some simple actions.

1) Use the dishwasher outside peak times.
2) Hang your clothes out on the line during the day.
3) If you need to use your air-conditioner, set it to 24 degrees and turn other appliances you’re not using off.
4) Use the BBQ instead of your oven or cooktop.
5) Turn off TVs and other appliances when you’re not using them.

Jolie Pitt family enjoy Dreamworld after hours

Superstars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been enjoying the festive season on the Gold Coast with their kids, with the famous brood spotted at some of our most well known attractions.

On Monday night, Maddox, 12, Pax, 10, Zahara, 8 and Shiloh, 7, and five-year-old twins Knox and Vivienne joined the couple for a special after-hours visit to Dreamworld.

The family was able to enjoy the rides and attractions without public stares and paparazzi.

It’s the third time the Brangelina kids have visited the theme park since arriving on the Gold Coast.

The Courier Mail reports, earlier in the day the A-Listers took the kids for a skate at the Epic Skate Rink at South Tweed.

The family have previously been spotted enjoying Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, cruising the Broadwater, and shopping up a storm at Target at Robina Town Centre.

Brad Pitt has flown back and forth to Australia to visit the children while Angelina Jolie has been in town directing her upcoming film Unbroken.