December 4, 2012

Severe to extreme fire conditions, high temperatures for Tuesday

South East Queensland will swelter through what will be one of hottest days this year tomorrow, and this bushfire season is anticipated to be one of the most dangerous.

Tuesday's forecast temperature map

The Gold Coast will still be one of the 'coolest' places to be with an expected top of 35 degrees, whilst other areas of the south east will approach and exceed 40 degrees.

Brisbane City: 39
Ipswich: 41
Sunshine Coast: 38
Gold Coast: 35

Regardless of where you're located, severe hot weather is still a serious event. Here are some simple steps you can take to look after yourself, your family and your pets if a heat wave is predicted or happening (courtesy of Gold Coast City Council Disaster Management):

Be prepared

  • Dress appropriately, wear light, loose clothing.
  • Ensure pets have adequate water and shade.
  • Never leave children or pets alone in parked cars. Temperatures inside your vehicle can rise to dangerous levels in minutes, even hotter than outside.
  • Purchase or locate a fan or air conditioner.
  • Take bottles of water when you’re on the move or outside.
  • Take note of weather reports from the Bureau of Meteorology.
  • Plan your day to avoid direct heat and sunlight where possible - stay inside or at least in the shade during the hottest part of the day (10am to 3pm).

Be alert

  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine-based drinks and excessive amounts of coffee. All these will dehydrate you.
  • Take extra care with children and the elderly - they can really suffer in the heat.
  • Check on elderly relatives and neighbours a couple of times a day to see how they are coping.
  • Look out for symptoms of heat stress, including flushed or pale skin, cramps, nausea, headache, dizziness, disorientation, drowsiness, fainting or collapsing. Seek medical attention if any of these occur.

Be safe

  • Keep drinking water throughout the day, especially if you are working outdoors or exercising.
  • Stay in the shade if outdoors and wear sunscreen and a hat.
  • Avoid the sun between 10am and 3pm.
  • Make use of fans and air conditioners.
  • Keep infants cool and offer fluids regularly.

Fire dangers:

Whilst there are no storms predicted for our corner of the state tomorrow, the dangers of bushfire (or wildfire) will be ever present with a Fire Weather Warning coverage large swathes of the state.

The south east corner will have a Severe Fire Danger as temperatures up to 39 degrees, relative humidity down to 10% and winds to 40 km/hr are expected across locations including Gympie, Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the Gold Coast. The latest warning can be found on the Bureau's website.

The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service (QFRS) has also release a media statement warning South East Queensland residents to be bushfire prepared as firefighters brace for what is anticipated to be the most dangerous fire conditions seen this bushfire season.

Rising fire dangers are predicted in South East Region with sustained heat, combined with the reduction in humidity, resulting in severe to extreme fire danger.

QFRS Acting Manager of Rural Operations for South East Region Fergus Adrian said with such serious conditions, residents were strongly discouraged from lighting fires even if they did have a permit.

“Don’t light fires as conditions are far too dangerous,” Mr Adrian said.

“If you have completed hazard reduction burns recently, or had any fires on your property, make sure the fire is completely out so the wind does not pick up embers and cause fires further afield.

“Be particularly careful when using machinery in case sparks start a fire and don’t throw cigarette butts out windows.

“These are extreme conditions and they make fighting fires very challenging. Prevention is the key.”

Mr Adrian advised residents to prepare their properties and familiarise themselves with their bushfire survival plan.

He said any fires this week were likely to be difficult to extinguish and cause large amounts of smoke.

“While green grass is visible in the South East, there is still an under layer of dry, dead grass that will cause a lot of smoke when lit,” Mr Adrian said.

“We ask motorists to be cautious when driving near fire or through smoke and be aware of firefighters working in the area.

“If you suffer from respiratory illnesses, keep your medication close by.”

Mr Adrian also reminded residents to ring Triple Zero (000) immediately when they saw an unattended fire, rather than contacting local stations directly.

“Ringing Triple Zero (000) will ensure your enquiry is attended to quickly and allow firefighters to focus on operational matters.”

For further information during the event of a bushfire regularly tune into warnings by listening to your local radio and logging on to the Rural Fire Website at

Please stay safe, and tell us how you're keeping your cool :)