Westerly blast fans Ipswich fire threat
IPSWICH fire crews will remain on alert over the coming days, following horrendous conditions yesterday.
The good news is that high speed wind gusts that had crews so worried should ease today, with the forecast for winds to drop off and turn easterly today.
Winds will remain light only until Sunday, when another blast of hot northerlies is expected and temperatures could reach the low 40s.
Given the extreme threat from bushfires up north, Ipswich was fortunate not to experience any large scale blazes yesterday.
Crews were called to fires at Rosewood, Chuwar, Summerholm, and Bundamba.
At Rosewood, a pile of logs caught fire near a house on the corner Lanefield Rd and Albert St about 11.45am.
Three crews had the fire under control within 15 minutes with no damage to property.
Another fire broke out at Coal and Brodzig Rd Chuwar about 2pm.
Smoke could be seen from some distance away, however fire crews were able to bring the situation under control quickly.
Another fire was reported at Nelson St Bundamba just before 3pm.
Six crews responded to a fire at Long Gully Rd, Summerholm yesterday afternoon.
The fire covered a 60m by 30m area but crews were able to extinguish the blaze quickly.
As of early yesterday afternoon, more than 90 fires were burning across the state.
A total fire ban was in place for southeast Queensland due to the diabolical conditions.
Wind gusts up to 89kmh were recorded at Amberley yesterday.
Crews hope for winds to ease today
IPSWICH area commander Acting Inspector Phil Paff said a predicted change in wind speed and direction today would have a large bearing on fire danger.
Mr Paff said firefighters had to remain particularly vigilant with any bushfire threat yesterday, as gusty westerly winds had the potential to turn a small fire into a dangerous one quickly.
"A fire like we had in Chuwar could generally burn safely but in conditions like we had the wind can push embers into unburned bush," he said.
"We had to make sure we had more resources, more people there for several hours.
"Usually with a fire that size - and it was only about three hectares - you would maybe just have one crew there to babysit it."
Queensland Fire and Emergency Service will continually monitor the fire threat.
While the forecast is for winds to ease, firefighters will still be concerned at the effect yesterday's wind and the ongoing heat will have in drying out vegetation.
"The wind has dried everything out. As had as the humidity is to work in, it would help us at the moment," Mr Paff said.
"We are hoping the worst of it is gone."
Mr Paff said it was fortunate that Ipswich did not experience more serious fires yesterday and he said firefighters were grateful to residents for listening to the advice, with no illegal burns recorded in the region.