Coast on red alert
THE Gold Coast is being told to brace for a second bushfire season with firefighters warning residents not to become complacent.
Alarmingly it is the second year in a row the fires have sparked up so late in the season, leading to concerns the city could be under siege from more bushfires before the end of summer.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services southeastern manager Alan Gillespie said dry conditions were likely to spell trouble on the Gold Coast in the next couple of months.
“The bush is drying out, we’re now at the beginning of a second part of the fire season and it will go until we get some decent rain,” he said.
“Last year we had a second fire season in February and March and that’s what is going to happen this year too – two years in a row is very unusual.”
With Australia Day celebrations just around the corner and plenty of outdoor barbecues on the cards, firefighters are warning people to take extra care and obey fire bans.
It comes as more than 100 firefighters and 23 units battled a bushfire near Maud- sland yesterday
Hot, gusty winds fanned the fire, which chewed through a pine tree forest and thick grass from Felling Dr to Maudsland Rd.
Firefighters managed to protect about a dozen homes that were close to danger throughout the day.
The crews remained at the scene overnight.
Major backburning work also began last night to contain the fire after the winds finally died down and temperatures cooled.
Superintendent Gillespie said the blaze could burn all week but crews were aiming to fully contain it by this afternoon.
Weather experts said local conditions will help firefighters get on top of the fire today.
Weatherzone’s Graeme Brittain said that while temperatures will stay around 30C across the Coast, dangerous winds were not expected.
“Over the coming days it looks like the winds are going to subside, they’ll be much lighter so we should see the fire danger reduce especially today,” he said.
“On Monday (yesterday) there were some quite gusty south-easterly winds across the region getting up to 30 to 40km/h which would have caused an elevated fire danger.”
A bushfire tears through Maudsland yesterday, forcing firefighters to protect about a dozen homes that were close to danger. Pictures: GLENN HAMPSON