A LARGE fire is burning in a southwest Queensland state forest as authorities warn of extreme fire conditions.
A total fire ban has been placed on southern Queensland as communities brace themselves for two days of extreme fire conditions.
Several grassfires were burning in the Inglewood, Roma and Warwick areas southwest of Brisbane today, as well as the Sunshine Coast, but were not endangering property.
An emergency services spokeswoman said the largest fire was burning at Pozieres State Forest, north of Stanthorpe.
She said 14 fire crews were fighting the blaze but no properties were under threat.
The temperature in the Brisbane area was expected to climb above 33C, setting an August record.
The State Government today announced it was arming rural fire brigades with an extra $3m worth of new firefighting vehicles.
Eleven dual cab firefighting appliances that can transport up to six people and 10 single cab appliances will be dispatched to rural fire brigades in Caboolture, Maryborough, Caloundra, Mackay, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Innisfail, Cairns and Ipswich.
Another 10 rural fire brigades in Mackay, Boonah, Rockhampton, Maryborough, Toowoomba and Burketown will receive the single cab vehicles that seat up to three people.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service commissioner Lee Johnson said the first real fire cycle for this year was expected during the next two days.
“Extreme temperatures forecast for today will set some records in southeast Queensland. A total fire ban is in place (for southern Queensland),” Mr Johnson said in Brisbane today.
”(That means) no fires in the open, A gas fire barbecue is OK and anyone using machinery such as slashing grass should exercise extreme caution.”
He said anyone who spotted a fire should call triple-zero.
Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts said people should plan ahead what they would do if their house was threaten by fire.
“One of the key messages that has arisen from the (Black Saturday) tragedy in Victoria is the need for people to think very carefully what they might do in the event of a serious fire,” Mr Roberts said.
“Our clear advice to people is to leave their property if they feel they are not comfortable or safe.
“I urge people to stay tuned to their radio and televisions and take advice from your local fire authorities.”
Anyone caught lighting a fire during a fire ban will face six months in prison or a $5,000 fine.
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