Firefighters bracing for horror Friday as temperatures soar
STRONG winds, high temperatures and big fuel loads have created the perfect storm for Queensland firefighters who have been put on high alert.
The weather bureau has issued a severe fire warning for the state's south-east with temperatures in the low to mid-30s.
The ABC reports five grassfires are burning in southern Queensland but pose no threat to property.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Inspector Mark Gribble says any fire flare-ups will be hard to contain.
"We've got high fuel loads with lots of rain off-season - some 30 to 40 tonnes per hectare out west and it won't take much at all," he said.
A fire near Esk in the Somerset region yesterday burnt 200 hectares but is now contained.
In Roma, police are investigating the cause of a fire which destroyed a house in the town overnight.
A Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman in Toowoomba said the report of the fire was called into the service at 11.50pm on Thursday.
However, by the time fire crews arrived on scene at the Dargall Rd residence the fire was well involved.
No-one was in the house at the time, the spokeswoman said.
On the Sunshine Coast, small fires and a fire at the local tip at Buderim have created a haze over Maroochydore and the central area.
The weather bureau has issued a fire danger warning for Friday.
"High temperatures, dry air, and fresh and gusty west to northwesterly winds ahead of a surface trough, will extend through the southern interior and the southeast,'' it says.
A Severe Fire Danger is forecast for the following forecast districts:
Darling Downs and Granite Belt and Southeast Coast
The Rural Fire Service Queensland advises that fires may be unpredictable, uncontrollable and fast-moving.
The Rural Fire Service Queensland advises you to:
Check your bushfire survival plan - Now.
Monitor the fire and weather situation in any way you can through www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au and www.bom.gov.au, television or radio.
Call Triple Zero if you see a fire.
The Rural Fire Service Queensland advises that if you are in an area of Severe Fire Danger:
Leaving is the safest option for your survival.
If you plan to leave finalise your options and leave early on the day.
Only stay if your home is well prepared and well constructed and you can actively defend it.
Prepare for the emotional, mental and physical impact of defending your property - if in doubt, leave early.
For information on Fire Bans and how to Prepare. Act. Survive.
Visit the Rural Fire Service web page at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au or call the hotline on 1800 020 440.