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'Worst bushfire conditions in a decade': Fire chief warning

GETTING READY: Members of the Ripley Valley Rural Fire Brigade conducted hazard reduction burning at Purga in July, to prepare for the fire season ahead.
GETTING READY: Members of the Ripley Valley Rural Fire Brigade conducted hazard reduction burning at Purga in July, to prepare for the fire season ahead. Rob Williams

THE rural fire chief for the Ipswich area has warned that a combination of gusty, hot winds and high fuel load has created the worst bushfire conditions he's seen in a decade.

Rural Fire Service West Moreton area director Paul Storrs said all brigades in the region were prepared for the worst this weekend, with temperatures set to hit the high-30s and winds blowing in from the north-west at up to 35kmh.

All fire permits for the south-east Queensland region have already been cancelled and this situation isn't likely to change any time soon.

Mr Storrs said Ipswich residents needed to start thinking about the potential risk bushfires might pose to them and their properties and ensure they were prepared.

"There are already a number of alerts going out and this may increase as the week goes on," Mr Storrs said.

"What people need to do is to be aware and be vigilant; check the weather every day and make sure your house is prepared.

"Make sure you know exactly what you are going to do if there is a fire in your area."

For those who haven't done it already, now is the time to clean up around the house and clear leaves from gutters. Mr Storrs said anyone who sees a fire should phone Triple-0 immediately because this week's conditions could turn a small fire into a big one very quickly.

"The weather is giving us a pretty clear indication that these are some of the worst conditions we've seen in a few years," he said.

"The fuel load is the worst I've seen in a decade.

"Our brigades are up to standard and ready to do the job. They are well and truly up to task."

Topics:  bushfire season firefighters


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