Fires at Patrick Estate in the Somerset region on Friday.
Fires at Patrick Estate in the Somerset region on Friday.

Dry heat adds fuel to region’s bushfires

AFTER a weekend of horror fire conditions and record breaking temperatures across the region, crews are preparing for another challenging weekend ahead.

“We’ve only got a high fire danger for the next few days, but our next potential period of challenging fire weather will be this weekend, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday,” Rural Fire Service regional manager Alan Gillespie said.

Fires not only wreaked havoc in Bundamba but also devastated parts of the Somerset region.

Large blazes burned throughout the Patrick Estate and Wivenhoe Area and closed the Brisbane Valley Hwy on Saturday night. It was later reopened on Sunday afternoon.

“Conditions on Saturday were record breaking. We had a number of temperature records broken on Saturday at Gatton and Archerfield,” Mr Gillespie said.

“It was so hot, so oppressive, but of course we also had really, really dry conditions on Saturday, down to 5% humidity.”

Mr Gillespie said it was important for communities to under the impact these bushfires are having and just how dry and serious the bushfire danger is.

“Bundamba clearly showed that on Saturday because here we are in the middle of Ipswich and we’ve got a significant bushfire going,” he said.

“That’s the issue, you could be living in suburbia, if you’re surrounded by dry bush, it doesn’t take much to start that.

“People need to have a bushfire survival plan, that is really, really, critically important.”

A total fire ban remains in place for the region.