Queenslanders could see a rise in bushfire activity in the coming days, with widespread high fire danger forecast to develop across much of the state.
A cold front and associated wind change are expected to push across the southern and south-eastern interior on Thursday, extending to the southeast and central coast on Friday before moving north on Saturday.
Rural Fire Service Acting Assistant Commissioner Tony Johnstone said the onset of westerly winds combined with dry conditions and low humidity meant heightened fire activity was possible.
“While the wind itself is not unusual during August, it comes at a time when we are seeing record dry conditions in parts of the state, particularly in the the southern interior and western fringes of south-east Queensland,” Mr Johnstone said.
“It’s that cocktail of no rain, parched earth and strong gusts that can leave parts of the state exposed to bushfires.
“Fires that break out under these conditions have the potential to spread quickly and could be difficult to control.”
A local fire ban will be in place from Thursday, 8 August until 11.59pm Friday, 9 August for residents in the Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Scenic Rim, Ipswich and Logan local government areas.
Permits to light fires have also been cancelled in the Southern Downs Regional Council area until further notice.
While firefighters are well-prepared for the coming days, Mr Johnstone said Queenslanders should also ensure they were ready and had a Bushfire Survival Plan in place.
“If heightened fire conditions are forecast for your area, please take extra care when using machinery and power tools because the smallest spark is enough to fuel a bushfire,” he said.
“Make sure you’ve prepared your home and property by keeping grass low, removing dead leaf litter and flammable materials from the yard.”
Mr Johnstone urged people to call Triple Zero (000) immediately if they spot a fire.
“Early reporting is critical to getting the jump on bushfires. The sooner we know, the faster we can respond and tackle the blaze,” he said.
“It’s also important to stay up-to-date by tuning into local media and monitoring warnings.”
For further information, visit ruralfire.qld.gov.au.