THE Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) is urging Queenslanders to be vigilant with heightened fire conditions predicted for much of the State tomorrow and across the weekend.
RFSQ Assistant Commissioner Neil Gallant said precautions were being taken by firefighters to prepare for potential bushfires during the dangerous fire conditions.
“With severe fire danger forecast for much of western Queensland and the south-east corner, we’re asking residents to take extra care, be alert, and help to prevent bushfires,” Mr Gallant said.
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“Fire conditions will worsen tomorrow, with temperatures expected to reach the mid-40s in western Queensland, pushing into the south-east on Saturday and Sunday, with the Maranoa, Warrego, Darling Downs and Granite Belt districts of particular concern.
“Temperatures up to 10 degrees above the November average are expected along the Queensland coast, with areas west of Brisbane, including Ipswich and the Lockyer Valley, set to experience temperatures into the low-40s.
“This is some of the hottest weather and highest fire danger Queensland has experienced this season.
“Under these conditions, very hot temperatures combined with low humidity and increased winds create dangerous fire conditions where fires may develop quickly, spread rapidly and become more intense.
“The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Fire Investigation Unit and Queensland Police Service (QPS) Arson Squad will be monitoring all fire developments, to determine if any criminal or negligent actions are occurring.”
Mr Gallant said landowners who had conducted hazard reduction burns recently were strongly encouraged to take immediate steps to ensure their fire had been properly extinguished.
“Landowners who have conducted burns must make sure residual fires are contained so that they will not escape,” he said.
Mr Gallant said it was crucial for residents to prepare themselves and their properties.
“If they haven’t already, I urge residents to finalise preparations on their property and visit the RFSQ website to download a bushfire survival plan so that no one is caught off guard,” he said.
“People should never throw cigarette butts out of the car window and always be careful when operating machinery in grassed areas.”
Further information on bushfire preparation can be found at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.