Fire splits in two southwest of Brisbane

Residents are being told to prepare to leave their homes after a bushfire burning southwest of Brisbane split in two.

A ‘watch and act’ alert is currently in place for a fire in Clumber, near the border with NSW, and another for a blaze further north in Thornton.

The Thornton blaze has split into two separate fires travelling in different directions.


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Conditions are challenging because the fire is burning in steep, rugged country.

Belts of parched land and withered bush across Queensland are raising the risk of bushfire.

Extreme fire warnings are in place from the Gold Coast to the Sunshine Coast, inland to Toowoomba and then out towards Dalby, Miles and Goondiwindi.

A fire ban is in place residents in the Toowoomba and Southern Downs Regional Council areas.

Another area of concern is Teewah, north of Noosa, where firefighters have contained a fire but warn it could again flare up.

Severe warnings have also been issued for the area between Gympie and Bundaberg, out to Taroom, Emerald and west to Charleville.

The air is dry, the temperature is hot and strong winds are expected to sweep through areas shrivelled by a lack of rain.

“On top of the current weather, we’ve had stress on the plants, we’ve got a lot of what’s called curing, a lot of the grass is already brown,” Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Superintendent James Haig said.

“What I’m saying is, the drought conditions, the long-term dry conditions, the lack of rainfall, have exacerbated the bushfire conditions.”

Superintendent Haig is urging all residents to get an evacuation plan together, and to avoid activities that can start a fire, like mowing the lawn or using a grinder.

He wants them to report fires to triple zero and call Crimestoppers if they see anything suspicious.

Authorities say this year is different.

The seasonal outlook from the Bureau of Meteorology is for below average rainfall until after Christmas, and hotter temperatures.

It means an intense and long bushfire season.

Wind gusts of up to 80km/h are expected Friday afternoon as a low-pressure trough sweeps across the southeast.

Brisbane is set to reach a maximum of 37C while Ipswich will sizzle in 39C heat with no chance of rain over the next week.

Conditions will ease over the weekend.

© AAP 2019