Fire trucks at the ready at Boonah.
Fire trucks at the ready at Boonah. Cordell Richardson

Fire crews prepare for hellish week of conditions

VETERAN firefighters have said they've never witnessed bushfire behaviour like what the region has faced and will continue to face in the coming days.

"Southeast Queensland is facing an extremely challenging and very, very difficult fire season," Queensland Rural Fire Service regional manager Superintendent Alan Gillespie said.

"We have, especially in the next week, a significant fire threat right across the region.

"Under these conditions, we're seeing unprecedented bushfire behaviour.

"People with 30-40 years of firefighting experience are saying: 'We've never seen fire behaviour like this before."

Residents at Rosevale, Clumber, Moogerah, Tarome and Lefthand Branch were told to be prepared to leave yesterday, while all residents across the region were warned to stay indoors, as the air quality continued to deteriorate.

A very high fire danger is in place for the region tomorrow, upgrading to a severe fire danger on Wednesday.

"We'll then have a couple of days with very high fire danger and on the weekend it will return to a severe fire danger period," Superintendent Gillespie said.

"We're getting no respite for the fires that we do have and hence the reason the commissioner took the historic step to declare a State of Fire Emergency."

A State of Fire Emergency was declared for more than 42 local government areas across Queensland on Saturday, including Ipswich, Lockyer Valley and the Scenic Rim.

It prohibits the lighting of all types of outdoor fires, and bans certain activities that can cause fires to ignite.

"Our biggest concern is more fire in the fire ground, because we just don't have resources," Superintendent Gillepsie said.

"The only thing that's going to stop them is rain.

"We're preparing for this fire season to go on well after Christmas and well into the new year."

Scenic Rim Mayor Greg Christensen said there was a lot of preparation in place and under way to ensure the region has the best chance of containment.

"This is a significant event, but what we've shown so far is that by doing the right things, letting QFES have the lead and by people listening and following instructions, everyone can come through this event quite safe," he said.

"We've got two centres on standby if we were needing to move people.

"For the southern end of the corridor, from Tarome into Moogerah, Clumber areas, the refuge is at Aratula, if it was activated.

"For those from the area that's north of where the fire is running, the risk in front of where the fire is potentially moving is in the Rosevale area and the refuge is at the Harrisville School of Arts.

"Anyone that's concerned of distressed horses and wanting to move them out of smoke or in the path of fire, the Boonah Showgrounds yards have been made available for heavy animal refuge."