News

Backup firefighters called for Ipswich's scorcher weekend

ADDITIONAL firefighters will be called in from the Gold Coast and Beaudesert this weekend to support Ipswich crews during what could be a dangerous weekend.

Temperatures are forecast to reach the low 40s, with north westerly winds tipped to peak at 50kmh on Sunday.

With humidity also down around 15%, it's a recipe for concern for firefighters.

Rural Fire Service Ipswich area director Corey Bock said the visiting crews would be stationed at Forest Hill, in the Lockyer Valley, in order to respond quickly to any threat from Laidley to Esk.

"We've had some issues around the Warrego Highway in general - as well as Esk - and we need those extra trucks on hand in that area," he said.

Several crews remained in Esk yesterday, after several fires suspected of being deliberately lit burned through about 300 hectares on Wednesday.

The fires continued to burn into inaccessible country in the Esk Mountain area, with crews pulling back but keeping the blaze under close watch.

Luckily, no people or properties were directly affected.

By the time the fire burns out, Mr Bock expected it to have ripped through up to 600 hectares of bushland.

"There were three suspicious fires on Wednesday and a few others around Esk over the last couple of weeks," Mr Bock said.

"The fires on Wednesday all started by the side of the road and you don't normally see that unless they have been deliberately lit.

"A pattern is starting to form."

Firefighters and police are working together as part of the investigation.

Meanwhile, all permits to burn had been revoked from Wednesday night through to midnight on Monday, due to concerns over the heatwave weather conditions.

Mr Bock said all brigades in the region had been notified.

Although a total fire ban will not be enforced, Mr Bock urged Ipswich residents to avoid lighting any type of fire.

Residents are urged to report fires immediately.

Topics:  editors picks, fire danger, heat, weather



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