A waterbombing helicopter has been used to help douse a large and fast-moving grass fire near Ipswich, west of Brisbane, where residents have been urged to prepare to leave their homes.
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service has issued a Watch and Act alert for residents in Mutdapilly, warning conditions could worsen.
“You need to be ready to follow your bushfire survival plan,” it says.
“If you do not have a plan, or intend to leave, you should be ready to leave the area because the situation could get worse quickly.”
The fire was burning near Mutdapilly Dip Road, Gimples Road and Mutdapilly Churchbank Weir Road this afternoon, travelling in an easterly direction.
“Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property,” the alert says.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Michael Knepp said a trough had brought a dry air mass and gusty winds to the area.
“We’ve seen gusts go up to 62 kilometres per hour so that’s just enhancing the fire dangers this afternoon,” he said.
“Luckily, these conditions will ease fairly quickly later this afternoon into the evening and we won’t see similar conditions tomorrow.
“Typically, with very dry conditions, gusty winds tend to make fires move quite quickly and much harder to control.
“Fires like very low humidity and fresh winds and that’s what’s happening right now.”