West Moreton rural fire Acting Inspector Peter Roberts is warning of heightened fire danger this weekend.
West Moreton rural fire Acting Inspector Peter Roberts is warning of heightened fire danger this weekend.

Only getting worse: Firefighters prepare for hellish time

THE REGION'S rural fire crews are preparing for the worst over the next five days, with temperatures rising and the ground tinder dry.

A total fire ban is in place for all of Ipswich and surrounding areas as of midnight Friday, as firefighters gear up for what could be the busiest period of the fire season.

Queensland Rural Fire Service West Moreton area director Acting Inspector Peter Roberts said conditions were forecast to worsen significantly.

"That dryness in the ground is already there," he said.

"We have had no rain as everyone would be aware, and what rain we have had has been patchy and nowhere near enough to have any effect.

West Moreton Rural Fire Service area director Peter Roberts is warning Ipswich residents to be prepared for a period of high fire danger.
West Moreton Rural Fire Service area director Peter Roberts is warning Ipswich residents to be prepared for a period of high fire danger.

 

"We no there is no soil moisture there to slow any fire down."

Several smaller grassfires have been brought under control this week, including a large fire burning among rubbish near the Cunningham Hwy at Willowbank.

Mr Roberts said the conditions so far had allowed crews to control fires relatively easily, however, this could change by Saturday.

This week, the rural fire service began to prepare all available personnel to be on call, with temperatures rising towards the low 40s next week.

Winds will be coming from the northeast at a forecast 25km/hr from Saturday through to Wednesday.

A south-easterly change and cloudy skies is predicted for Thursday next week, which could provide some relief.

Until then, Mr Roberts said crews were on high alert.

"The ban is in place until next Wednesday, with the option of extending it if necessary," he said.

West Moreton Rural Fire Service area director Peter Roberts is warning Ipswich residents to be prepared for a period of high fire danger.
West Moreton Rural Fire Service area director Peter Roberts is warning Ipswich residents to be prepared for a period of high fire danger.

 

"My message to people is to prepare themselves, and know that we don't have enough trucks to go up every driveway.

"Go early if you are not able to stay and defend your property, but if you plan to defend, make sure you have done everything to prepare.

"Tune into your radio and use your apps so that you know if there is a fire near you.

"Make sure you know north, south, east and west and make sure you have a plan B."

The fire ban, which is effective midnight Friday (Saturday morning), is in place for Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Somerset, Lockyer Valley, Logan and the Gold Coast.

All current permits to light fire have been cancelled, subject to specific exemptions, including some cooking and heating fires, but strict conditions apply.

For full details, visit the Rural Fire website.



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