'Unlike anything we've seen': High praise for battling fireys
THE commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has thanked firefighting staff and volunteers for their "unwavering commitment and tireless work" during this week's unprecedented bushfires.
"The conditions we have faced this week are unlike anything we have seen before," Katarina Carroll today told fireys.
"Today we expect conditions in Queensland to worsen. We will be experiencing increasing heat and wind over the next 48 hours, which will mean the fire danger for the Capricornia district will be 'Extreme' and many other districts will be 'Severe'.
"Given this, the State Disaster Coordination Centre has now been activated to 'Stand Up' to assist our crews on the frontline."
The 'Stand Up' order means normal non-essential functions for staff and volunteer firefighters are to cease as staff are expected to be available to support operational activities.
"Managers, particularly those in the regions, should continue to ensure staff are stood down in preparation for rostering into operational roles," Ms Carroll said.
"Due to the severity of the bushfires and the weather conditions, we currently have 107 New South Wales Rural Fire Service personnel assisting and an additional 300 more from around Australia to be deployed in the coming days."
The news comes just hours after the West Australian Department of Fire and Emergency dispatched two groups of firefighters to help fight more than 80 blazes across Queensland.
"To those on the frontline, both staff and volunteers, thank you for your unwavering commitment and tireless work in unfavourable conditions," Ms Carroll said.
"Your dedication is deeply appreciated, and we also thank your families, friends and employers for their support.
"To all of QFES, I send my gratitude for your help during this time. Please continue to look out for each other and support our crews on the ground.
"We will continue to keep you updated as the situation unfolds."