Blistering start to summer has fireys bracing for worst
FIREFIGHTERS are gearing up for a blistering start to summer with a severe fire rating forecast from today through to at least Wednesday.
Inspector Matt Inwood, the area director for Caloundra QFES Rural Fire Services, said predicted temperatures past 30C and low humidity coupled with westerly winds had created real concern.
A strike team of units will be on standby in a bid to catch any blaze quickly backed by a heightened weight of attack.
Inspector Inwood said any fire would be fast running and it was essential they were quickly contained.
The public has been urged to call triple 0 immediately they see smoke or fire to give fire services the best chance of containing them.
Inspector Inwood said he feared predicted severe storms yesterday afternoon and evening would carry the potential for lightning strikes igniting dry vegetation.
"The community message is be prepared," he said.
Bushfire plans should be in place, grass around buildings mown, gutters cleared, and access provided so firefighters could quickly swing into action.
"It's been a very busy few months," Inspector Inwood said.
"And we are facing similar conditions for several months ahead."
The Bureau of Meteorology forecast maximum temperatures of 33C today, 32C tomorrow and Wednesday on the Coast and in the mid 30Cs further inland at places like Nambour.
To the north, Gympie will be dealing with temperatures in the high 30Cs through to the end of this week.
Inspector Inwood said firefighters who had already been flat out for the past few months, had received some respite during the past 10 days giving crews some level of a break.
"They've certainly been working under extreme conditions," he said.
"We can't be thankful enough for their efforts."
Inspector Inwood said the Bureau of Meteorology's climate outlook showed there was above average temperatures and below average rainfall for the months ahead after what had been, in the main, a dry winter.
"Monday all day is going to be challenging," he said.
"It will start hard and fast and increase through the day. It really means we need to be at the top of our game."