Extreme danger has Rural Fire Service on alert
FIRE crews from Dalby to Birdsville are on high alert today, as increasing winds and hot, dry conditions come together to create a severe fire danger.
While no fire bans are currently in place, and no fire permits have been granted, the Rural Fire Service is keeping a close eye on the conditions, which are forecast to create pockets of extreme fire danger across the west this afternoon.
"Extreme fire weather will be impacting the area today," Queensland Rural Fire Service acting director Wayne Waltisbuhl said.
"At about one o'clock there will be a large area of extreme fire weather coming across the Maranoa and Warrego.
"The entire area of Darling Downs and Granite Belt, and Maranoa and Warrego is facing a severe fire danger today, with a fairly large patch extending from Goondiwindi to Cameron Corner experiencing an extreme fire danger this afternoon."
There is no rain on the cards for the region this week, meaning the southwest will effectively be a tinderbox as dry storms roll through as early as this afternoon.
"There is forecast to be some dry storms moving through the regions tomorrow, and possibly this afternoon," Mr Waltisbuhl said.
"Lightning is quite possible and that concerns us; because it is so dry in vegetate areas, when lightning hits the ground it will start a fire."
In light of the severe to extreme conditions, local crews are asking locals to do their bit to reduce fire risks.
"On days like today, even doing hot works like grinding or welding can start a fire, and because of the weather conditions, fire behaviour becomes extremely erratic and it will be difficult to control," Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (Roma Command) inspector Goetz Graf said.
"We really want people to actually take more note of the fire danger rating signs, understand what they mean, and how important it is that we adjust our daily activities based on what the fire danger rating is."
While fire crews are watching and waiting, residents are being urged to stay vigilant and keep informed.
"People need to keep informed, so listen to the radio, and check the Rural Fire Service website or the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service social media outlets on what to do," Mr Waltisbuhl said.
"They will keep you notified if there is a fire in your area."