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Australia Queensland fire threat to lower on Saturday but fires still burning

18:30  08 november  2019
18:30  08 november  2019 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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South-east Queensland will see relief from scorching temperatures on Saturday but the threat of bushfires remains after several blazes took hold on Friday. Hot, dry and gusty west-to-south-westerly winds combined with temperatures 10 degrees above average on Friday to create tinderbox

Queensland Police vision of the Lower Beechmont fire , captured on Friday and Saturday .Source The fire “poses a threat to all lives directly in its path”, QFES says. In NSW, where there are 61 There are still 51 fires burning in Queensland , though thankfully there have been no injuries or loss

a car driving down a dirt road: Smoke from an out-of-control bushfire billows near Clumber, south of Boonah in the Scenic Rim region, on Friday.© AAP Image/Dan Peled Smoke from an out-of-control bushfire billows near Clumber, south of Boonah in the Scenic Rim region, on Friday.

South-east Queensland will see relief from scorching temperatures on Saturday but the threat of bushfires remains after several blazes took hold on Friday.

Hot, dry and gusty west-to-south-westerly winds combined with temperatures 10 degrees above average on Friday to create tinderbox conditions in which more than 50 fires burned across the state.

More than 200 fire trucks, supported by 24 water-bombing aircraft, were deployed across the south-east to deal with the various blazes.

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Key points About 70 fires are still burning in Queensland Crews have taken control of the large Peregian blaze and residents are returning home Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) Inspector Chris White said crews were able

About 150 fires are still burning in New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland , feeding off tinder-dry conditions. Fifty houses were destroyed or damaged in NSW on Tuesday but no lives were lost, officials said. At one point, fires broke out in suburbs of Sydney.

Residents at Cooroibah in Noosa’s north were told to leave their homes on Friday afternoon as a large bushfire moved into the area.

Police declared an emergency and an evacuation centre was set up at the Noosa Leisure Centre.

Authorities also evacuated the nearby suburb of Tewantin, with a second large fire threatening homes there.

Early on Friday night Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said the situation was "very volatile".

The fast-moving fire was keeping emergency services on their toes as the winds were changing direction, Mr Wellington said.

"It's going to be a long night; it's going to be a distressing night," he said. "My sympathies go out to everyone."

A general smoke haze warning was issued for residents as far south as Caloundra and as far west as the Blackall Range.

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A fire burning at Cobraball, south-west of Yeppoon in central Queensland , has also been upgraded to an emergency level. The fire is currently burning near Bungundarra Road, Mount Rae Road, Woodbury Road, Norpine Road and Woodbine Road. The warning comes as a state of fire

Thunderstorms bring rain to fire -affected areas but also cause damage through hail and flash floods. Dozens of communities across Australia's south-east are still reeling from fires which have been described as the most destructive on record. How long will the fire threat last? In worst-hit NSW

Meanwhile, residents at Buccan, south of Brisbane, were urged to prepare to leave on Friday before fire crews finally got the upper hand and contained the blaze.

The Thornton bushfire in the Lockyer Valley region split into two separate fires that advanced in different directions.

Firefighters managed to contain a blaze that sparked near homes in the western Brisbane suburb of The Gap, with some residents using garden hoses to protect their properties.

Firefighters said they suspected that fire had started as a result of a resident breaking a fire ban in the area, however investigations had not yet begun into the official cause.

Around Ipswich, west of Brisbane, four fires threatened homes, with residents of Laidley Creek West and Mulgowie, Tarome, Thornton and Lefthand Branch, Clumber and Moogerah warned to leave before fire overtook them.

Temperatures hit 39 degrees in Laidley and Beaudesert on Friday, while it reached 37 degrees in Brisbane.

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Fires have also flared up in Western Australia today, with an emergency warning issued, and then downgraded, for a fire in the northern area of Gnangara in Perth’s north. Prime minister Scott Morrison would not comment on Saturday whether he believed climate change had contributed to Australia’s

Queensland fire threat downgraded. Most NSW bushfires remain at the lowest alert level after rain fell on some fire grounds overnight, while air quality is hazardous in parts of the state. Early on Saturday morning, 48 fires were still burning in NSW with 20 of those yet to be contained.

Some relief was expected on Saturday, with temperatures expected to fall back to more usual November temperatures in the high 20s and low 30s.

But meteorologist Jess Gardner said there was still no rain in the immediate future to dampen the dry conditions.

Ms Gardner said there might not be average rainfall until February if predictions did not change.

"The climate outlook for the next few months is certainly that we’re expecting it to be hotter and drier than average, so there is a chance that we may not see any decent rainfall for some time," she said.

"For December through to February for the south-east quarter of Queensland, there is only a 20 to 30 per cent chance of exceeding average rainfall.

"For the rest of Queensland, we’re looking at about a 30 to 50 per cent chance of exceeding average, which means it may be average rainfall."

Ms Gardner said the forecast for November to January was predicted to be drier than average across the country.

"Bushfire and heatwave risks are likely to remain high for eastern Australia, and recent rain in central Queensland has been very welcome but is unlikely to ease longer-term rainfall deficiencies."

- with Jocelyn Garcia, AAP

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