As bushfires continue to rage across Queensland, the Bureau of Meteorology has issued a strong wind warning and severe to dangerous fire conditions for central and southern Queensland.
On Wednesday, extreme winds of between 40 to 50 kilometres an hour and intermittent gusts of up to 80km/hour were forecast, creating severe dangerous fire conditions across both parts of the state.
Extreme heatwave conditions are forecast from Gladstone through to Cooktown with temperatures rising well into the mid-forty degree mark. BOM forecaster, Harry Clarke, said southern Queensland was expected to be spared the hot northern temperatures, with temperatures reaching the mid to high thirty degrees, but still with a severe high fire danger.
The monster Deepwater inferno that has razed homes and 20,000 hectares of bush and farmland in central Queensland was becoming more powerful as the heatwave intensified. Exhausted crews have been battling to get the upper hand as the fire continues to threaten communities between Bundaberg and Gladstone.
Conditions continued to test Queensland crews and 100 firefighters who have come up from New South Wales.
Fire and emergency services minister, Craig Crawford, declared a disaster situation in response to the central Queensland fires.
Mr Crawford signed the disaster declaration for the Gladstone local government region, including the areas of Baffle Creek Catchment, Wartburg, Deepwater, Agnes Water, Roundhill, Miriam Vale and Bororen.
“These areas are under severe threat of fire or have already been hit by fire and the disaster declaration will ensure that necessary agencies, including fire and emergency services and police have the powers they need to respond effectively,” Mr Crawford said.
“This includes giving police the power to forcibly remove residents and to stop them returning to their homes until it is completely safe.
“What we are seeing around Agnes Water is unprecedented and we need to look out for each other and for the emergency services who are working with us and for us.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Commissioner Katarina Carroll said there was no respite in sight.
"We are facing an horrendous 48 hours," Commissioner Carroll said.
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