Fire risk warning rises as winds move in
TODAY looms as a danger day for the Gympie region and south-east Queensland as the Bureau of Meteorology ratchets up its fire risk warning from Very High to Severe for the South East Coast and Very High for Wide Bay and Burnett.
There are currently no fire bans or restrictions in the Gympie Regional Council area, though rural fire wardens are not issuing any permits to burn.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Gordon Banks said yesterday the fire risk would increase significantly overnight as north to north west winds gusting from 15 to 25 kmh swing west south west at 25-35 kmh at some point between dawn and noon bringing really dry air into the region.
He said while conditions would not be particularly hot - Gympie is expecting a maximum of 29 degrees today compared to yesterday's maximum of about 32 - the extremely dry air and a dew point dropping to sub zero would combine to add to the already volatile mix of tinder dry vegetation.
The gauge will drop to 27 degrees in the Gympie region tomorrow before climing back up to 29 on the weekend.
Mr Banks said relative humidity this afternoon could also drop by 20-30% further escalating the danger.
Sunshine Coast Council and Noosa Local Disaster Management centres both went on alert on Wednesday night with Noosa's Alan Rogers saying it appeared the region was in for a long fire season.
"We are urging everyone to be very aware of the risks,” he said.
We had that North Shore fire (which destroyed three homes and severely damaged another) which was started by sparks from an angle grinder.
"It's pretty dry up here and the firies a cautious about the conditions. Tomorrow has the greatest identified danger but anything could happen today.”
Mr Banks said the BOM saw no rain likely over the next week but that conditions may ease into Friday when south west winds early at 15-25 kmh would then swing east south east at 15-20 kmh bringing with it more moist sea breezes.
The wind would then drop out on Saturday before developing first from the north west and then swinging north east to bring in more moist sea breezes at 15-25 kmh.
Winds are expected from the west on Sunday before going back to the south east at 15-25.
Monday will see winds remain light before they again turn north west on Tuesday lifting temperatures to 29 degrees.