Weather conditions are pointing to a catastrophic fire danger rating for parts of the Darling Downs and Maranoa tomorrow, the Queensland Rural Fire Service says.
- The Rural Fire Service warns catastrophic conditions are being forecast tomorrow for the state’s south
- Parts of the Darling Downs and Maranoa are being urged to prepare now
- There are currently bushfires at advice level in the south-east, including at Sarabah
It would only be the second time a catastrophic fire warning has been issued — the first was in November last year when fierce bushfires ravaged central Queensland.
Acting regional manager Clinton Newman has urged people in those areas to prepare now and heed any warnings from emergency services.
“We’re looking at fires that will be fast moving and difficult to control, so people who do not have well-prepared properties or who haven’t got a plan, we’re in the phase where it might be too late so their plan might be to leave early,” he said.
“We’ll see fire bans from midnight Thursday night or Friday morning, through to midnight Friday night or Saturday morning … so pretty much all of Friday.
“So … make preparations today.”
The areas facing a significant fire threat include Toowoomba, Southern Downs, Western Downs, Goondiwindi, Maranoa and the Balonne Shire council areas.
What can you do to prepare?
A list of what you can do to get ready for the bushfire season is listed on the Rural Fire Service website.
It includes preparing your property by clearing leaves, twigs, bark and other debris from the roof and gutters, enclosing open areas under decks and floors and sealing gaps in external roof and wall cladding.
Fire crews also urge people to display a prominent house or lot number, in case it’s required in an emergency, and ensure adequate access for fire trucks — ideally four metres wide by four metres high, with a turn-around area.
Reduce vegetation, mow grass and remove excess ground fuels and combustible material like long dry grass, dead leaves and branches.
The Rural Fire Service also suggests having sufficient personal protective clothing and equipment, checking the first aid kit is fully stocked and reviewing and updating household bushfire survival plans.
Other areas also facing severe threat
Tomorrow’s fire danger rating for the Granite Belt and Warrego is extreme, while the rating for the Central Highlands and Coalfields, Wide Bay and Burnett and south-east coast is severe.
There are currently four bushfires at advice level in the south-east, including at Sarabah in the Gold Coast hinterland, Kurwongbah in the Moreton Bay shire, Upper Flagstone in the Lockyer Valley and Frazerview in the Scenic Rim.
A landowner near Canungra was forced to battle the bushfire as it approached his property yesterday. (ABC News)
Mr Newman said the Kurwongbah, Upper Flagstone and Frazerview fires were all contained, while crews were still continuing to bring the Sarabah fire under control.
A very high fire danger remains in place for eastern districts.
The fire ban will be in place until midday on Friday in Ipswich, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Scenic Rim, Logan and the Gold Coast.
Under a local fire ban, open fires are prohibited and all permits to light fire that have been issued in areas will been cancelled.