Worst fire threat in generations: Chief's urgent warning
REGIONAL fire chief Alan Gillespie is warning of potentially catastrophic fire conditions in Ipswich's rural areas on Friday, as hot north-westerly winds ramp up.
Fires at Frazerview and Roadvale on Wednesday drew an understandably huge response from firefighters, with more than 240 personnel, 86 appliances and four water-bombing aircraft called in to stop the fires.
At one stage on Wednesday afternoon, residents in the area of Frazerview, near Kalbar, were warned to leave the area unless they already had a bushfire survival plan.
The fast-moving fire was heading north at an alarming rate.
The warning was later downgraded as the fire began to die down about 5.30pm.
Fires to the north at Roadvale, and further south at Milford also drew warnings on Wednesday afternoon, though luckily neither of them posed any significant threat and both also died down by the evening.
Mr Gillespie said the relief was likely to be short-lived, with extremely dangerous conditions returning on Friday morning, as winds reach speeds up to 40kmh from the north-west.
"What we are really worried about now is what is going to happen on Friday," he said.
"There will be a fire weather warning for the region, and we will be going up to severe and possibly even extreme fire danger in some areas further west.
"What we are facing here is one of the most serious bushfire threats in south-east Queensland in generations."
Firefighters are urging any residents in country areas to prepare early with survival plans and firefighting equipment on hand.
"We can't guarantee we will have a track at every fire," Mr Gillespie said.
"Rural firefighting is a partnership between the Rural Fire Service and communities."