‘This is fire season’: fireys warn conditions will worsen
A FORECAST of increasingly hot and dry weather has urged the region's chief rural firefighter to issue a local fire ban.
The ban forbids anyone across the Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Scenic Rim, Logan and Gold Coast areas to light a fire and cancels any already-approved permits.
Rural Fire Service Regional Manager Superintendent Alan Gillespie said fire conditions were expected to worsen during the next few days.
"The fire danger today is high but the issue we have is, come tomorrow afternoon and Monday especially, the fire danger is going to be very high," Mr Gillespie said.
The temperature in Ipswich is forecasted to reach 32C, with 36C on the radar for Monday.
Both days are looking to be dry.
The decision to impose the ban was made on Saturday morning, afters local fire wardens assessed environmental aspects at play.
"It's not just about the weather, although that drives it a lot," Mr Gillespie said.
"But we also look at weather fire wardens are still issuing permits, how dry it is in their local areas, how many fires we've had and, more importantly, the number of escaped permitted burns."
In the past week, Mr Gillespie estimated about 10 fires have burned past containment lines region-wide.
"That becomes a little concerning when we see that number," he said.
"We will increase our level of preparedness through our local fire brigades - they're very well trained, very well seasoned and they're under no illusions about what could potentially happen.
"This is fire season for us and it will stay that way until we get substantial amounts of rain and I don't know when that will be."
Already in full swing, this year's fire season has been milder than last year's despite dryer conditions.
"Although we haven't had the type of fires we've had last year because of the wind pattern, it's actually drier," Mr Gillespie said.
Set to begin at midnight, Saturday night, the ban will apply until midnight on Monday, unless it is extended.
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