A dozen raging blazes

THE dust had settled in Rockhampton yesterday but with extreme conditions predicted to continue over the weekend, fire bans were extended until Monday.

Fire crews were called out to 12 separate fires across the region yesterday including one which re-ignited four times near Mount Morgan and four others which were still burning late yesterday afternoon.

About 5.15pm crews were protecting homes near a fire at East End, Mount Larcom.

Firefighters were also called to a grass fire on the Bruce Highway five kilometres south of Rockhampton about midday which closed the road for a short time until the smoke was cleared.

A fire also started in a median strip on the Bruce Highway near Alexandra Street from a discarded cigarette.

On Wednesday, temperatures soared to 36 degrees, 8.5 degrees above the September average maximum while 14 fires burned throughout the region.

Yesterday, conditions cooled to a maximum of 31.2 degrees at 4pm, but with no sign of rain in the next few days, the Queensland Rural Fire Service was forced to extend the total fire ban until midnight on Monday.

The ban, originally scheduled to end last night was yesterday extended in various parts of Queensland including Rockhampton, Gladstone, Central Highlands and Woorabinda regions.

The ban will be reviewed on a daily basis.

A second dust storm predicted to hit south-east Queensland over the weekend is unlikely to be as strong as those seen earlier in the week, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

As winds move across the state from today it is expected to spread dust mainly over western districts. .

Windy conditions are expected to ease in most areas after Sunday.

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