News State QLD News ‘Tinderbox’ conditions spark Wide Bay-Burnett total fire ban

‘Tinderbox’ conditions spark Wide Bay-Burnett total fire ban

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A total fire ban will be imposed in parts of south-east Queensland from midnight (AEST).

The Rural Fire Service (RFS) says the ban applies to the Bundaberg, Gympie, Fraser Coast and the North and South Burnett council areas.

RFS acting area director Craig Magick says the region has not had decent rain for three months.

“To ease the conditions we’re going to need at least two inches plus of rain, so it is like a tinderbox,” he said.

Mr Magick says there has been no break in dry, humid conditions over the past three months and rural fire crews are not taking any chances.

He says even daily activities could pose a fire risk.

“Using power tools, lawn mowers, any mechanical device – people need to be cautious,” he said.

Weather bureau spokesman Michael Knepp says winds could heightened the fire danger in coastal areas.

“There will be a strong wind warning on the Fraser Coast very late Thursday into Friday,” he said.

Mr Knepp says showers later this week could bring some relief.

“Thursday and Friday there will be the chance of some thunderstorms but it’s not going to be widespread,” he said.

All open fires will be banned and fire permits cancelled.

Sugarcane burns will still be permitted between 6:00pm (AEST) to 5:00am.

The fire ban will initially be in place for two weeks but authorities are warning it could be much longer.