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High alert: Mackay fire crews prepare for horror conditions

Rural Fire Service services will be on high alert for the next two days.
Rural Fire Service services will be on high alert for the next two days. Marc Stapelberg

GREATER precautions will be taken by fire services from today in preparation for dry and windy weather.

From 10am, the wildfire alert level for the central region will be increased to level three, meaning more resources will respond to fires over the next 48 hours.

It's a matter of preparing for the worst case scenario, Rural Fire Brigade area director Andrew Houley said.

It comes as the weather forecast for the coming days will see strong and gusty north-easterly winds and extremely dry air move towards the coast.

Mr Houley said the low humidity will be an issue as there won't be as much moisture in the air to help prevent possible fires.

"The next couple of days it's predicted to be more challenging weather, so we are going to wildfire level three just to have that better communication and a bit more gear put to fires in the beginning,” he said.

Mr Houly said now is the time to be very cautious, particularly when dealing with "hot work”.

He said a number of fires started in the past two weeks could be attributed to grinding steel, cutting mesh for building sites and welding.

"Work that wouldn't normally start a fire... is starting fires,” he said.

Mr Houley said they would be monitoring the weather until Saturday.

Meanwhile, yesterday two fires burnt in the region.

Overnight, fire crews were called to a "large fire” on the Peak Downs Highway at Copabella. Two crews battled the blaze overnight and managed to contain it.

Earlier on Wednesday, a grass fire broke out at Eversleigh Rd at Sarina and multiple fire crews attended.

A QFES spokeswoman said crews responded to reports of the blaze at 12.20pm and five trucks responded.

Mr Houley said the blaze might have started from an ember that escaped from a controlled burn done the day before.

Topics:  bush fire season fire mackay fire mackay weather qfes weather


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