Stifling summer heat, increased fire risk coming for Gympie
GYMPIE will get a stifling introduction to what looks like a long, hot summer with temperatures expected to climb as high as 38C next week, according to the weather bureau.
The Bureau of Meteorology has forecast temperatures ranging between 34 and 35C for the Gold City over the weekend before scorching highs of 37, 38 and 38C for the first half of next week.
The Wide Bay and Burnett’s Fire Danger Rating remains at “very high” until Monday, when it upgrades to “severe”.
Strenuous overnight firefighting efforts meant blazes in Widgee and Curra yesterday afternoon were contained and posing no threat to properties.
As many as 21 crews had been tasked to the scene at Widgee, where 11 urban and rural crews worked until around 1am to contain it at Golden Hills Road and Reinke Road.
Aircraft support was also required through Wednesday night and Thursday morning for the fire, which was said to have broken out due to a lightning strike.
The fire burning on Curra Estate Road between Tegan Rd and Ian Drive was contained by 6.20pm after flaring at 5pm, according to a Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokesman.
BoM forecaster Dean Narramore said hot, dry and gusty winds either side of a broad surface trough would be the catalyst for the sweltering conditions.
“Ahead of that trough the winds are going to be north to north-easterly, so it will be dragging those warmer temperatures down from the north, and that’s why we’re going to see temperatures in those mid thirties,” Mr Narramore said.
“That trough will move into southeast Queensland on Sunday, so that will be the best chance of showers and thunderstorms in that part of the world.
“The temperatures get even hotter again because once the trough moves offshore it’s going to reintroduce those hot, dry and gusty westerly winds again. It’s dragging that heat from Central Australia and western Queensland all the way to the east coast.”
After Gympie picked up 11mm from isolated showers on Thursday morning, the best chance of rainfall between now and next Thursday sits at a miserly 40 per cent on Sunday.
“Even then it’s kind of hit and miss showers and thunderstorms, no bands of rain or anything like that. Some will miss out, as we always do with showers and storms,” Mr Narramore said.