Residents advised to take precautions as grass fire burns
9.30AM: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are warning residents in the Shoalwater Bay area to take precautionary measures as the large grass fire continues to burn in inaccessible country north west of Byfield.
Currently, the Australian Defence Force and Rural Fire Service (RFS) air operations and ground crews are working to contain the blaze and strengthen containment lines. There is no threat to homes at this time.
Residents in Byfield and surrounding areas may be affected by a large smoke haze and are urged to close windows and doors. It's advised that if you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep medications close by. Motorists should drive with caution and to the conditions. If your home is under threat, call Triple Zero (000) immediately.
TODAY 8AM: FIRE crews are waiting for the weather to improve in order to continue water bombing the grass fires at Shoalwater Bay.
Authorities confirmed this morning no properties are under threat at this stage but that crews were hoping to continue water bombing throughout the day.
YESTERDAY: FIRE crews are tackling a number of fires in Central Queensland today and are prepared for more as a week-long heatwave hits.
There are currently three fires burning in the region were crews are carrying out fire management actions.
One fire was started last night at Dysart, caused by a lightning strike, a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman.
She said QFES was called to a grassfire on Limestone Rd this morning at 9.50am and the crews are strengthening break areas around the fire this morning.
Water bombing is being carried out at Shoalwater Bay at a fire that has been burning since November 1.
The spokeswoman said fire crews carried out backburning at the fire at Canal Creek, The Shannon Road, which is near the Werribee Creek State Forest, north of Rockhampton.
She said aerial operations were carried out this morning, including water bombing.
Fire crews are continuing to watch a fire at Hidden Valley which started yesterday.
Multiple crews responded to the vegetation fire yesterday.
Crews observed several large logs and patches of grass on fire when they arrived.
This included a pile of timber logs measuring 20m by 20m.
It was under control by 5pm yesterday.
The QFES spokeswoman said crews returned this morning to check on the fire which is expected to continue burning for a number of days.
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.