Egg-cooking on bitumen weather heads to CQ
CENTRAL Queenslanders need to get prepared for another weekend heat wave with fire and heat stroke warnings issued by emergency services.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, Rockhampton is set to reach 36 today and the thermostat is set to get higher as the weekend rolls in.
The forecast for the next seven days for the Beef Capital will see a top of 37 on Friday and Monday, 38 on Saturday and Sunday as well as Tuesday and 35 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Gladstone is expected to reach 32 today and tomorrow, 31 on Saturday and Sunday, 30 on Monday, and 31 on Tuesday and Wednesday.
And it's going even hotter out west.
Blackwater's seven day forecast includes a top of 38 today, 41 tomorrow, 42 on Saturday, 39 on Wednesday and 41 on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.
Emerald's forecast is very similar to Blackwater's with a top of 38 today, 41 tomorrow, 42 on Saturday and Sunday, 41 on Monday and Tuesday and 39 on Wednesday.
It is expected to get slighter hotter in Longreach with a top of 41 today, 42 tomorrow, 43 Saturday, Sunday and Monday; 42 on Tuesday and 40 on Wednesday.
Check the forecast for other Queensland towns during this heatwave here: HEATWAVE: Fears of tragedy as Qld, NSW to hit 42°C
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is preparing for more bushfires over the coming days with a heatwave forecast to impact much of Queensland.
"The heatwave is expected to bring temperatures up to 10 degrees above average in some areas this week, which is expected to generate very high to severe fire danger," Minister for Emergency Services Mark Ryan said.
"Queenslanders can be rest assured that our Emergency Services personnel are prepared.
"Extra crews are on standby in areas of high risk and firefighters have been spent many months preparing for the summer bushfire season."
Rural Fire Service (RFS) Assistant Commissioner Tom Dawson said QFES was well prepared for the predicted severe fire danger ratings (FDR).
"We've seen consistent bushfire activity since August but the forecast heatwave and dry conditions will be the worst we've experienced this season," Mr Dawson said.
"Extreme temperatures will cause bushfire conditions to skyrocket, and we can expect to see a severe or very high FDR over much of the state from tomorrow through to Tuesday.
"Firefighters on the ground have been briefed, know what to expect and are well prepared to respond if a bushfire threatens."
Mr Dawson said a bushfire in these conditions would quickly become intense, uncontrollable and fast moving and residents were urged to report all bushfire activity immediately.
"Any bushfire in these conditions has the potential to gain intensity very quickly and move rapidly, making it extremely difficult to contain," Mr Dawson said.
"An uncontrollable fire is also unpredictable, and we are relying on the community to assist us in our efforts and help notify us of any bushfire activity.
"We need residents to report any bushfire to Triple Zero (000) immediately, as the sooner we can get crews on the ground, the quicker we can contain the fire."
Mr Dawson said residents needed to stay up to date with warnings and ensure their families were prepared if a bushfire threatened their property.
"The best way for residents to remain informed of bushfire activity in their area is by staying up to date with bushfire warnings, it may well save your life," Mr Dawson said.
"If you haven't already, take some time to create and practice your Bushfire Survival Plan making sure your family's prepared should a bushfire threaten your home.
"Residents need to take extreme care this weekend and caution should be taken when using power tools or heavy machinery and never throw a cigarette butt from your car, the smallest spark could start a fire."
Residents can stay informed of fires in their area by visiting the RFS website, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) social media pages or tuning in to local radio.
Visit www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au to keep updated on fire danger ratings and information on bushfire preparation.
Updating warning systems for heatwaves could save hundreds of lives in Australia and help emergency services better prepare for what are Australia's deadliest extreme weather events.
Lead Scientist at research company Risk Frontiers, Dr Thomas Loridan says the public underestimates the dangers associated with extreme temperatures despite more than a century of data showing how deadly they are.
"The 2009 heatwave that hit Victoria and South Australia killed 432 people, or two and a half times the number of people killed in the Black Saturday bushfires that followed," Dr Loridan said.
"With the exception of pandemics, heatwaves have been responsible for more deaths than all other natural disasters put together."
Building on the work by the Bureau of Meteorology, Risk Frontiers has created five heat severity categories that account for both high temperature spikes and prolonged duration of extreme heat conditions, and then modelled the expected number of deaths.
"For example, the death toll from a category five heatwave is expected to be at least three deaths for every 100,000 people exposed," Dr Loridan said.
In Melbourne this equates to at least 120 heat related deaths.
Dr Liz Hanna of the Climate and Health Alliance says adopting such a warning system could save many lives as heatwaves become hotter, last longer and occur more often under climate change.
Dr Hanna says it's a common misconception that only the elderly is at risk of heat illnesses.
"There's an upper limit to what temperatures humans can tolerate and as heat rises, illness increases and productivity drops away," Dr Hanna said.
Heatwaves are also something our emergency services need to be increasingly prepared for. The CSIRO and BoM State of the Climate 2016 report found, "the duration, frequency and intensity of extreme heat events have increased across large parts of Australia."
Victorian paramedic Ward Young sees the immediate effect of heat stress.
"People with chronic medical conditions become critically ill as heat pushes people beyond their capacity to cope," Mr Young said.
"People need to know how to prepare and how to deal with the extended and more severe heat waves we are experiencing."
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said the official launch of summer in Queensland came with a dire warning for the state's health.
"It's crucial for Queenslanders to heed the dangers of scorching temperatures, and take sun protective measures when out and about during this heatwave," Ms Clift said.
"Where possible, people should avoid sun exposure - especially when the UV Index is three or above, from about 7:30am during summer in Queensland.
"We recommend Queenslanders abide by all five sun protective recommendations - Slip on protective clothing, Slop on minimum SPF30 broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen, Slap on a broad-brimmed hat, Seek shade and Slide on wrap-around sunnies when out and about.
"Sunscreen or a good hat alone isn't enough - we need to make the effort to do all we can to protect ourselves in hot weather, to reduce our skin cancer risk.
"We're proud to officially launch summer today with Wet'n'Wild, and encourage all Queenslanders to prioritise sun protection to reduce the risk of skin cancer this summer."
Cancer Council Queensland is also warning older Queenslanders and those affected by chronic disease to take extra care in the soaring temperatures.
"Keep yourself and your family cool - stay in air-conditioning, drink as much water as possible and schedule outdoor activities later in the day, when the UV Index falls below three," Ms Clift said.
"Be aware of heat-related illness and heat stroke - warning signs may include muscle cramps and weakness, dizziness and a headache, nausea or fainting.
"Mild to moderate dehydration can also be an issue. We encourage all Queenslanders to look out for the health of friends and family around them during this time."
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or Cancer Council's 13 11 20.
- Check air-conditioning at your home has been serviced and is working effectively.
- Ensure you have an enough food, water, medicines and toiletries to avoid going out in the heat.
- Store foods and medicines at a safe temperature. Read our food safety information to find out more.
- Consider your options if the heat wave causes a loss of electricity or disrupts public transport.
- Ensure you have a torch, fully charged mobile phone or a telephone that will work without electricity, a battery operated radio and sufficient batteries.
- Find ways to make your home cooler-such as installing awnings, shade cloths or external blinds on the sides of the house facing the sun.
- Dark metal shutters and dark curtains may absorb heat and make the room warmer and should be avoided. The use of pale curtains or reflective materials is better.
- Keep hydrated by drinking water regularly during the day. This generally means drinking two to three litres of water a day, depending on heat, humidity and your physical activity.
- If your doctor normally restricts your fluid intake, check how much to drink during hot weather. Drinking too much water can also be dangerous, so monitor the colour of your urine. It is recommended that your water consumption should ensure that your urine is light yellow.
- Avoid drinking drinks with high levels of sugar, caffeine and alcohol and very cold drinks.
- Eat smaller cool meals, such as salads. Do not take additional salt tablets unless prescribed by a doctor.
- Keep yourself cool. Use wet towels or scarves, put your feet in cool water or take cool (not cold) showers. Stay indoors in cool or air-conditioned facilities-either at home or at local shopping centres, libraries and cinemas.
- Close curtains and blinds, and open windows (if there is a cool breeze blowing) to reduce heat entering your home.
- Avoid strenuous outdoor activities. If you can't avoid outdoor activities don't go out in the hottest part of the day, stay in the shade, drink plenty of water and wear a hat and light coloured, loose fitting clothing. Ensure infants and children do too.
- Do not leave children, adults or animals in parked vehicles, even for a short period of time.
- Keep in touch with sick or frail friends, neighbours and relatives to ensure that they are coping with the heat wave conditions.
- Watch or listen to news reports for information about the heat event or heat wave.