News State Queensland Queensland braces for worse as ‘fire weather’ threat intensifies
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Queensland braces for worse as ‘fire weather’ threat intensifies

fire funding boost
The new funds will help better predict and fight bushfires. Photo: AAP
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Queensland firefighters are gearing up for more volatile fire conditions, with severe dry weather and dry storms again crossing the state.

Authorities say it will be days before the conditions ease, with a forecast of dry lightning increasing the chance of more bushfires which have claimed one life.

A developing cyclone off the northeast coast has also has been forecast to approach the embattled state, adding to the growing list of weather events.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said crews took advantage of a slight easing of conditions on Saturday to consolidate containment lines, but hotter, drier weather was forecast to return.

“We’re expecting again erratic fire behaviour as a result of that,” he told AAP.

“Local communities and our local firefighters are saying we just have never seen these sorts of conditions before, where fire burns like this, so hot, so fast and with such intensity … this is very new for Queensland.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited the command centre at Finch Hatton, west of Mackay, on Saturday, and urged communities to prepare for worsening conditions.

“Tomorrow we again will be facing a heatwave. It will impact right across the state,” she said.

“We have the strong winds that pick up in the afternoon. We want to make sure people get accurate information as quickly as possible.”

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack toured the Miriam Vale evacuation centre near Gladstone, praising the efforts of locals.

“They are the worst of times, but we are seeing the very, very best of people,” he said.

The bushfire crisis saw its first loss of life on Friday night with the death of a 21-year-old man at Rolleston, south of Emerald, who was using a chainsaw to prepare a firebreak when a tree fell on him.

Police said three men tried to save him but he died at the scene.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk offered her condolences to his family.

“It goes to show that everyone is doing everything they can to save their homes and their properties,” she said.

“It’s a very, very sad day for that family today.”

The biggest fires of concern remain at Deepwater and Eungella in Central Queensland, as well as Carnarvon in the south west.

-AAP