Queensland heatwave set to continue until mid-week, fires keep raging
It is set to be another heavy day for firefighters in Queensland with more than 100 bushfires burning across the state, and very hot conditions exacerbating the fire threat.
- Fire is burning south of Coast road, north of Baffle Creek, and travelling south
- Dry conditions and erratic winds around Stradbroke Island exacerbating fire and thunderstorm concerns
- Tropical Cyclone Owen expected to miss Queensland coast
Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Forecaster Adam Blazak said the heat would will start to ease across the south-east from tomorrow.
“Thankfully though we will be seeing temperatures drop away” he said.
“From the south east tomorrow and that will gradually spread up the state throughout Wednesday, and by Thursday, most of the state should be back to reasonably average temperatures for this time of the year.
“But today is going to be another heavy day for firefighters and just people dealing with the heat.”
Storms are also forecast for later today and tomorrow across the Wide Bay and Capricornia.
Me Blazak describes it as “rain lotto”.
“Some places are going to score very high rainfall while other places will miss out,” he said.
“they will be slow moving with possibly heavy rainfall leading to localised flash flooding — but it won’t be widespread.”
The main area of concern today is around Deepwater and Baffle Creek in Central Queensland and at North Stradbroke Island.
Ten additional Rural Fire Service units from NSW arrived yesterday to help. (ABC News: Sarah Jane Bell)
Conditions expected to ease, but fires unpredictable
That was since been downgraded but a Watch and Act warning remains for the nearby Captain Creek bushfire, with residents near Agnes Water advised to be ready to follow their bushfire survival plan.
An unpredictable fire is burning in a south-easterly direction towards Davies Road, Oyster Creek Dam Road, Creevey Drive and Murphy Road, to the north of Baldaw Road, and the fire is likely to affect this area.
Wind change at Stradbroke Island to bring increased smoke
Emergency services are also closely monitoring a fire on North Stradbroke island which broke out several days ago.
It’s not threatening properties, but there are concerns for neighbouring islands — given the smoke and windy conditions.
A community meeting will be held at Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island this afternoon as authorities continue to monitor the bushfire threat.
Fire has now burnt through more than 520,000 hectares across the state.
Cyclone Owen predicted to miss Queensland coast
BOM confirmed Tropical Cyclone Owen had indeed formed in the northern Coral Sea, but that it was not expected to make a telling impact on the state’s coast.
The bureau’s Bruce Gunn said it would be drifting slowly to the south-west and remain offshore, before weakening to below tropical-cyclone strength by Wednesday.
BOM: Tropical cyclone Owen continues its south-southeast track in the northern Coral Sea.
Fire and Emergency Services assistant acting commissioner for northern region, Michael O’Neil, said north Queenslanders mustn’t be complacent during cyclone season.
“Clearly with the temperatures that we’ve been sustaining over the last couple of days, the water temperature is certainly up and that is also increasing the potential for storms and cyclones going through the coral sea so we continually need to be prepared and get ready for them,” he said.
Tributes flow for rural firefighter killed by falling tree
Tributes are being paid to a young man who died while preparing fire breaks on a central Queensland property.
The 21-year-old died on Friday night when a tree fell on him south of Rolleston.
Police believe he had been cutting the tree with a chainsaw when it fell and trapped him.
Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said the tragic loss was being felt across the region.
“He not only is a rural firefighter, but obviously the area he was working in [was] his home, and that’s his community, Councillor Hayes said.
“He has a big family and obviously a long history with the region and those people are missing him very much.”
Councillor Hayes said the community would rally around the man’s family.
“But they’re very much aware of the fact that they’ve got work to do as well and I know that at some point when we’ve got an opportunity to put tools down, we will take a bit of time to grieve properly and make sure that that support is strengthened around that family.”