National

Qld fire, cyclone seasons ‘could collide’

By AAP Newswire

Queensland's bushfire and cyclone seasons could collide later this year as the state cops a battering from climate change, the Palaszczuk government has warned.

With bushfire conditions easing but still threatening the state this weekend, 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, including limited interstate help once fire seasons kick in elsewhere around Australia.

He says Queensland Fire and Emergency Services workers are acutely aware of the dangers climate change is throwing at them.

"But there are a lot of people in this state and in this country that don't even believe climate change exists," he told ABC radio on Friday amid the worst start on record to the state's fire season.

Mr Crawford is worried about fatigue setting in among volunteers and employers who release them from work during emergencies.

"What happens if we have a fire season like we had for the last week for the next three to four months?" he said.

"How do we manage that? How do we keep their employers happy, their families happy, and still be able to tap into them?"

Hundreds of firefighters have travelled from Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia and even New Zealand to Queensland over the past week or so to deal with the state's ongoing bushfire emergency.

"They've gone to central regions as our attack supervisors," QFES Assistant Commissioner John Bolger said.

"Given that and the reduction in fire whether, it's given our local crews time to have a break.

"We will come back in time for the weekend fresh and ready to go."

Westerly winds have lowered the humidity and made for stronger fire conditions around Sarabah near Lamington National Park.

People there have been told to prepare to leave, while a blaze at Peregian Springs on the Sunshine Coast has also flared up, but is not threatening property.

The danger is not over yet with 70 fires still burning, from the border to Cape York.

About 20 aircraft are in the area and another 15 are on standby.

Forecasts showed slightly stronger winds moving up the southeast coast on Friday, but they were expected to back off into the evening.

However, hotter temperatures that will continue into the middle of next week are causing some concern with the fire danger ranked at high to very high.

Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll says conditions next week shouldn't match those of the past seven days when dozens of properties were destroyed or damaged in the south and southeast.

But she also says some fires will continue to burn for the foreseeable future.

"We will not put some of these fires out unless we get a lot of rain and there is no rain in sight," she told reporters from a fire staging ground at Canungra, in the Gold Coast hinterland.