Fire danger lurks as 2011 floods remembered
SATURDAY marks two years since our TV screens were bombarded with images showing flood waters inundating Queensland's capital city.
Most of the regional areas had already faced flood emergencies but all eyes were on Brisbane as floating missiles threatened to take out major infrastructure and 20,000 homes were inundated in the state's heart.
This week's heightened fire danger provides a stark contrast and a bold reminder of the vastly different climatic dangers Queensland can face one year to the next.
Acting Premier Jeff Seeney said on Friday there were still many Queenslanders dealing with the grief, loss and financial impacts from the "catastrophic floods" two years ago.
But they now faced a high fire alert with temperatures above 30C in most of Queensland and as high as 47 in the central west.
The Bureau of Meteorology issued a warning on Friday that areas such as Birdsville, Quilpie and Cunnamulla would have winds between 35 and 40kmh, and possibly thunderstorms with lightning, which was a recipe for damaging fires.
"We've got extreme weather conditions right across the state, extreme heatwave conditions and a lot of our emergency service volunteers are on a high state of alert for the bushfire situation," Mr Seeney said.
"It demonstrates the extremes of the climate of the state in which we live, from two years ago having catastrophic floods which devastated the city here in Brisbane to today, two years later, when we have potential for a catastrophic fire situation across the state.
"Bushfires continue to burn in the Bribie Island National Park area, where Queensland Fire and Rescue Service crews remain on the ground patrolling and maintaining containment lines.
While there was no threat to property late Friday, a large smoke plume and ash continued to affect areas including White Patch, Banksia Beach, Pumicestone Passage, Sandstone Point, Toorbul and Donnybrook.
Residents were urged to stay indoors and keep windows and doors closed.
Preliminary investigations have indicated a camp fire sparked the blaze, which then spread throughout the forest.