WARNING: Gympie under complete fire ban
UPDATE Wednesday 11am:
A COMPLETE fire ban has been issued for the Gympie region from now until Friday morning.
All permits to light fires previously issued in the local fire ban area have been cancelled, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service has confirmed.
EARLIER Wednesday 8am:
AS TEMPERATURES soar towards 37C in Gympie today, the threat of fire in the region has reached severe.
The intense conditions are stretching most of the state, a combination forecasters and emergency service workers are saying is unprecedented.
"The situation we're in is unlike anything we've seen before,” a Queensland Fire Emergency Service spokeswoman said.
"Heatwave conditions, low humidity and high winds are combining to create fire potential.”
Fire conditions are between very high and extreme across Queensland, with the threat of fire in the Gympie region severe.
Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Harry Clark said today's weather was a potent combination of factors in the region.
"A top of 37C and really dry westerly winds developing in the middle of the day at 30-40 km/h are expected around Gympie,” Mr Clark said.
"That combination of conditions is leading for severe fire danger.”
A QFES spokeswoman urged residents to report any unattended fires immediately.
The government has made the rare step of briefing every Queensland mayor, in anticipation of today's dangerous conditions, QFES Commissioner Katarina Carroll said.
While north of Bundaberg on Queensland's Central Coast residents are still being told to leave their homes as a fire that has destroyed thousands of hectares bears down on the small towns of Deep Water and surrounds.
Two Gympie auxiliary fire fighters have joined the almost 87 extra Queensland fire-fighters that have been deployed to the region, while 107 staff from NSW were deployed in the Agnes Water area yesterday.
"What we have is the combination of the most horrendous conditions in the next 48 hours,” Ms Carroll said.
"The combination of the climate, the heat, the fire is just absolutely horrendous.
"The heatwave is continuing past that for another few days. There is no rain in this, and there is no respite.”
Extreme heatwave conditions are forecast from Thursday Island down to Toowoomba.
These are conditions that are likely to extend through out the week.
Isolated storms, that will bring gusty wind and lightning rather than rain is forecast to peak in Gympie this morning.