Climate change driving Qld fire crisis

Former fire chiefs say climate change is behind Australia's current bushfire crisis.
Former fire chiefs say climate change is behind Australia's current bushfire crisis.

The former head of Queensland's fire service has pointed to climate change as the driver behind dry conditions that are fanning dozens of bushfires across the state.

Lee Johnson, former Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner, on Thursday said the bushfire season that has razed homes and hundreds of thousands of hectares of land was like nothing he'd seen in his decades-long career.

"I'm here for my children and my grandchildren, because I am fundamentally concerned about the impact and the damage coming from climate change," he said.

"There's something going on, and climate change are (sic) exacerbating the dry conditions we are all experiencing."

Mr Johnson, a member of the Bushfire and Natural Hazard Cooperative Research Centre, was among other former fire bosses calling on governments to take action to address climate change.

He warned conditions would remain extreme through the summer without significant rain.

There is no rain forecast until early next year.

"In Queensland alone, without speaking for the rest of the country, we need hundreds of millimetres of rain to bring the risk back to something like normal," Mr Johnson added.

"So our conditions are very much abnormal and driven very much by what's happening in our atmosphere, and that's influenced by greenhouse gases."

Exhausted fire crews have battled against dozens of fires across Queensland for the past week.

Some of those blazes have been burning for weeks.

Fifteen houses have been lost in the past seven days, while 11 others were flattened in September during an early start to the bushfire season.

Scientists have warned of the extreme bushfire risk attached to climate change for 20 years, Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie said.

The organisation released a report on Wednesday which found Australia's bushfire season had stretched so far across the calendar year that windows for hazard reduction burns had now narrowed.

It is calling for the federal government to develop a plan to better prepare communities, and health and emergency services across the country in the face of a rising fire danger, and phase out emissions that are fuelling climate change.

Australian Associated Press