The heavy smoke haze covers the Gold Coast
The heavy smoke haze covers the Gold Coast Scott Powick

Bushfires send haze over Coast

TWEED and Gold Coast residents woke up to find their clear blue horizon had turned a murky shade of grey as a smoke haze descended on the border region yesterday and well into the north-east corner of NSW.

As areas of south-east Queensland were ravaged by fire, north-to-north-westerly winds sent a cloud of smoke onto the coast.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service acting assistant commissioner for rural operations Paul Adcock said firefighters were kept busy responding to more than 180 wildfires over the weekend.

Some came as close to the Gold Coast as the scenic-rim towns of Silverdale, Ripley and Burham.

Mr Adcock said the combination of high temperatures, north-westerly winds and low humidity were the perfect conditions for fire and for that reason he pleaded with all Queenslanders to be particularly vigilant.

"We are asking people to ensure they are not throwing cigarette butts out of car windows and to be careful when operating machinery in grassed areas," Mr Adcock said.

"A number of fires have recently been started by slashers, mowers, graders and welders. One spark can result in a fire that can end up threatening properties and lives."

Weather Channel presenter Dave Kirwan said a change in wind direction in the coming days would push the haze out to sea followed by a return to average temperatures.

"A west-to-south-westerly wind should push it out to sea starting tomorrow," he said.

"We've had higher than average temperatures during the day and lower than average at night.

"By Tuesday we'll be looking at more seasonal temperatures with daytime maximums back around 24.

"Then it will feel more like spring."

Ambulance spokespersons from both sides of the border were pleased to report there had been no spike in respiratory illnesses such as asthma as a result of the smoke.



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