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State on high alert as bushfire intensifies

Increased risk of fire in four states this Spring. Picture APAC.png
Bushfires have broken out across Queensland in the hot September spell. Picture APAC

Sunshine Coast locals are being put on high alert with some being told to prepare to leave their homes as a “fast moving” grassfire continues to burn in near the Glasshouse Mountains.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services latest warning issued for the Beerwah area at 3.27pm on Monday saying properties between Steve Irwin Way, Irwin Rd, Mawsons Rd and the Bruce Hwy, including Holt Rd, should prepare to leave.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are battling to control a bushfire near Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast. Picture: QFES
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services are battling to control a bushfire near Beerwah on the Sunshine Coast. Picture: QFES

“Conditions could get worse quickly, prepare to leave and start taking protective action now,” they said.

“Firefighters are working to control the fire.

“You should not expect a firefighter at your door. Firefighting aircraft are helping ground crews.”

Authorities stated the Bruce Highway and other major roads, including Roys Rd, would be closed, causing potential traffic chaos as people try to get to safety.

Meanwhile, the ongoing bushfires come as a brutal heatwave washing across Australia will break temperature records for September and pummel millions of Australians until Wednesday.

The Bureau of Meteorology has released a “severe heatwave” warning for the NSW south coast, warning punishing low to mid-30s temperatures will continue until midweek.

“These temperatures are above average by around 10C to 15C and persist for an unusually prolonged period for this time of year,” the bureau states.

The bureau believes the “very uncommon” September heat will likely break records for the most number of days in a row above 30C until a cold front later on Wednesday eases conditions.

HOT WEATHER
Sydneysiders flock to the beach to cool off in the hot weather. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Jeremy Piper

The heat is impacting South Australia, Victoria and NSW, with the wave expected to hit Brisbane on Thursday.

Temperatures in Sydney will hit 33C on Tuesday and 34C on Wednesday.

The bureau predicts a maximum temperature of 34C to hit Brisbane on Thursday.

Health officials are warning that babies and the elderly face severe health risks from the heat.

NSW Health executive director of health protection Jeremy McAnulty said people should minimise heat exposure and reduce their physical activity outdoors in the next few days.

“Don’t wait until you’re thirsty before drinking water,” he said.

“It’s best to try and avoid the heat of the day by staying indoors and keeping curtains and blinds shut early.

“If you don’t have airconditioning, using a fan, wetting your skin with a sponge, spray or water-soaked towel can help to keep you cool.”

Heat exposure can cause severe illness, hospital admission and even death.

Multiple bushfires have also broken out across Queensland in the dry weather.

Queensland Fire and Emergency put out a warning for Emerald in Central Queensland on Monday morning, advising residents to stay indoors to avoid smoke from a fire along Selma Rd.

Fires broke out near Bundaberg, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast over the weekend.

Residents in the regional town of Miles, about 200km west of Toowoomba in Queensland, were warned to prepare to leave their properties after a fire erupted at Ayton Rd on Saturday.

The “fast-moving” fire travelled towards Pine Ridge Rd, prompting authorities to issue the “prepare to leave” warning at 1.38pm on Saturday.

While the east coast suffers through heat, BoM has issued multiple strong wind warnings for the Western Australian coast.

Warnings are in place for the Ningaloo Coast, Gascoyne Coast, Leeuwin Coast, Albany Coast and Esperance Coast for Monday and Tuesday.

Temperatures are also set to rise in Perth as the week goes on.

The bureau forecasts a maximum temperature of 27C in Perth on Thursday, which will then ease slightly to 24C on Friday.

The weekend will see max temperatures in Perth move between 21C and 23C.