Highway at Gap still closed, fire danger ‘extreme’

The Cunningham Highway at Cunningham’s Gap remains closed indefinitely due to a bushfire at Tarome on the eastern side of the Main Range.

Bushfires in the Swanfels and Upper Freestone areas east of Warwick have been extinguished in recent days thanks to a combination of containment efforts by fire crews and falls of rain in those areas late last week, but crews will continue to monitor conditions which still remain extremely dry.

The Southern Downs and Granite Belt areas remain subject to Extreme Fire Danger warnings with heatwave conditions expected to continue later in the week, with those in bushfire-prone areas advised to continue to remain aware of the risk and be ready to activate their Bushfire Survival Plan if necessary.

Hot conditions today, Monday 16 December, are expected to ease by this evening with a cool change expected, although daytime maximum temperatures in the mid to high 30’s are forecast to return on Thursday.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) has extended a local fire ban for the Southern Downs and Granite Belt to remain in place until this Friday 20 December, but this could be extended again depending on weather conditions.

QFES says under a local fire ban all open fires are prohibited and all Permits to Light Fire which have been issued in the designated areas have been cancelled.

Fires lit for the purpose of cooking are permitted under a local fire ban provided they are not left unattended, are within a properly constructed barbeque, smoker or oven and managed appropriately. This may include having a person available to watch out for any ignitions that occur.

Information on fire bans and the exemptions that can apply, and how to prepare a Bushfire Survival Plan can be found on the RFS website, www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au.


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