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Authorities warn Ipswich of 'perfect firestorm' conditions

Fire fighters at the scene of a fire in bushland between Blackstone and Bundamba on Sunday.
Fire fighters at the scene of a fire in bushland between Blackstone and Bundamba on Sunday. Rob Williams

WILD fires and controlled burns sent plumes of smoke over the Ipswich sky at the weekend.

Flames were spotted licking the side of the Cunnginham Hwy and skilled firefighters spent Saturday and Sunday burning off at Bundamba where bushland backs onto homes.

Fire permits have been cancelled and the State Government has already recruited more water bombing aircraft as the Queensland braces for a particularly bad fire season.

In the past week, half of all controlled burns conducted throughout the West Moreton region got out of control, as winds took hold.

If you're a property owner, it's too late to do any more burning off.

On Saturday, eight crews were called to a fast moving fire at Rosewood-Warrill View Rd, Mount Walker, which broke out just after 2pm.

Queensland Ambulance officers were called to the scene to ensure firefighters' safety but within an hour the team of rural and urban officers had brought the blaze under control.

West Moreton's Area Director Rural Fire Service, Inspector Paul Storrs says the strong response was directly related to the extreme conditions.

He said fire season was in full swing and rain dumped on Ipswich earlier this year from Cyclone Debbie had increased the amount of fuel on the ground, adding to the danger.

>>Do you know your risk? What's your plan to survive a bush fire? More information here.

It's that combination of significant fuel loads, a dry winter and a dry month ahead, along with low humidity had created the "perfect storm" for a severe fire season. Inspector Storrs said any Ipswich resident living within a few kms of bushland needed to have their bush fire plan in place - now.

"It's too late to burn off," Mr Storrs said.

"But not too late to get to work around the house. Make sure the gutters are clear, pick up any grass clippings and make sure there is no wood left out from winter. If your tanks are low on water, consider getting some more in.

"The weather has all lined up to create the perfect conditions for a fire storm. Don't get caught out."

New water bombing aircraft ready for rapid response

THREE aircraft have been contracted by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to help battle the coming fire season.

Rising temperatures and very dry conditions have authorities warning of an "above normal" bushfire season with the fire danger across much of the state already rated as "moderate to high risk."

In the last six weeks alone, Rural Fire Service and Queensland Fire Rescue Service have been called out to more than 1700 bushfires state wide.

Bushfire season has started early and it's expected to worsen.

Two large Helitak (Bell 214B) water bombing helicopters and a Twin Squirrel observation and attack supervision helicopter are now ready at Archerfield Airport for rapid responses to bushfires within a 100 kilometre radius.

The three aircraft will be available until mid-December.

The Bell 214B, the largest single engine helicopter in the world can draught 2650 litres of water into a belly tank from any accessible water source.

Topics:  ipswich fire season


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