Risk of bushfires flaring up again, residents warned
Risk of bushfires flaring up again, residents warned.Photo: . Pictures may be protected by copyright.
Fear Queensland blazes could burn for months as crews near exhaustion
Gold Coast hinterland residents have been told to stay alert while firefighters work to control a bushfire in a national park. Firefighters from Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and even New Zealand have arrived in Queensland to give weary crews a break after days of fighting fires that have razed homes and bushland. Fatigue among volunteers is playing on the mind of Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford who fears what could happen if the emergency that has played out over the past week continues throughout the season. "What happens if we have a fire season like we had for the last week for the next three to four months?" he said. Dozens of fires are burning from the state's southern border to the Cape but weather conditions like those that created multiples infernos that left residents sleeping in evacuation centres for days are not expected. Higher temperatures are, however, forecast for next week and officials have warned fires could burn for months because the ground is bone dry and there is no rain in sight. Two of the more serious fires are at Sarabah, west of the Gold Coast, and at Peregian on the Sunshine Coast, where authorities have told people to remain alert in case they flare up. Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday announced residents affected by the devastating Queensland and New South Wales bushfire emergency will receive government support payments to help them rebuild. Mr Morrison toured the area around Canungra and Binna Burra along with Queensland MP Scott Buchholz and Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management David Littleproud. After meeting with affected families, businesses and frontline emergency authorities the Prime Minister labelled the response effort to the emergency as one that is completely motivated by the "great spirit and the big heart of Australians". Earlier, the Queensland Government warned residents that the state's bushfire and cyclone seasons could collide later this year as the state cops a battering from climate change. Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford fears a difficult end to 2019. He's appointed a team to make sure volunteers called on in times of disasters can cope with what lies ahead. He says Queensland Fire and Emergency Services workers are acutely aware of the dangers climate change is throwing at them.