55 fires still burning across Qld

 

EXPERTS are warning Queenslanders to stay vigilant, with 55 bushfires still burning around the state and dangerous fire conditions predicted for the coming days.

According to Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) there are currently 55 active bushfires in Queensland, 12 of which have warnings associated with them.

Local fire bans will remain in place until next Friday for much of the state, as conditions as winds and hotter than average temperatures are forecast for the coming days.

Acting Fire Commissioner Mike Wassing has said Queensland is in the grip of no ordinary bushfire season.

"What we've seen is extraordinary dry conditions with the extremes of high winds and high temperatures," he said on Thursday.

 

Queensland firefighters are set to be replaced as fire warnings continue. Picture AAP/Glenn Hunt.
Queensland firefighters are set to be replaced as fire warnings continue. Picture AAP/Glenn Hunt.

 

"This will continue for weeks and potentially months. There is no outlook for rain.

"Winds are forecast to pick up over the weekend, and from Monday to Wednesday temperatures in half of the state will be hotter than the average."

Exhausted firefighters who have spent days reigning in fire fronts across Queensland will be relieved by fresh crews as authorities warn dire weather conditions could last weeks or even months.

Hundreds of people who raced to escape fires across southern and southeast Queensland have returned to their homes ringed by charred bush and reeking of smoke.

Police are looking closely at 22 fires to determine if they were lit on purpose, with Commissioner Katarina Carroll saying a taskforce has found 13 were caused by an accident, reckless behaviour or deliberately.

 

Queensland firefighters are set to be replaced as fire warnings continue. Picture AAP/Jason O’Brien
Queensland firefighters are set to be replaced as fire warnings continue. Picture AAP/Jason O’Brien

 

Authorities say there is an element of survivors guilt in parts of the Gold Coast hinterland, where some homes were razed while others were left untouched. Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen has been trying to steer his community through disaster.

"Tragedy comes and goes in life," he said on Thursday.

"How it affects us is determined by how much we can focus on the joy inside of us being greater than that which is affecting us from the outside."

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to visit bushfire-ravaged regions of Queensland if conditions allow today.

Thousands fled their homes in Peregian Beach area of the Sunshine Coast after a fire allegedly lit by two teens became a raging inferno, threatening everything in its way.

Mr Morrison is due to visit on Friday but worsening weather conditions could see fires spark back up again.

 

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk returned to Queensland from a trip to Switzerland amid the bushfires, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to visit today. Picture: AAP Image/Rob Maccoll
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk returned to Queensland from a trip to Switzerland amid the bushfires, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to visit today. Picture: AAP Image/Rob Maccoll

 

An elderly woman lost her home in that fire while others who were evacuated returned to find their verandas, fences and gardens charred.

LOCAL FIRE BANS (in place until 11.59pm September 20)

 

 

North Coast

 

Bundaberg

North Burnett

Cherbourg

South Burnett

Fraser Coast

Gympie

Sunshine Coast

Noosa

 

Central Highlands

 

Woorabinda

Banana

Gladstone

Livingstone

Rockhampton

 

Southeast

 

Brisbane

Moreton Bay

Redland

Ipswich

Somerset

Lockyer Valley

Scenic Rim

Logan

Gold Coast