Conditions grim as fires rage across Qld

Queensland firefighters expect weather and bushfire conditions to worsen on the weekend.
Queensland firefighters expect weather and bushfire conditions to worsen on the weekend.

WHERE ARE THE FIRES BURNING IN QUEENSLAND?

* The most significant blazes burning as of midday Thursday are at Noosa North Shore on the Sunshine Coast, the small coastal town of Woodgate near Bundaberg, and Black Snake, in the Gympie region

* The blaze at Black Snake takes in fires at Thornsid and Kilkivan

HOW SERIOUS ARE THEY?

* No lives have been lost, but one lucky helicopter pilot walked away with only minor injuries after crashing during waterbombing efforts on Wednesday

* Fifteen homes have been destroyed in the past week

* That includes 14 properties at Cobraball, near Yeppoon and another at Cooroibah, near Noosa

* Four people who fled the Pechey fire were sheltering at an evacuation centre at the Highfields Indoor Sports Centre near Toowoomba on Thursday, along with 30 more at the Isis Cultural Centre at Childers.

* Many others are believed to be staying with friends and family

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY FIRES?

* Two thirds of Queensland is in drought and with bushland and farmland so bone dry, as well as no moisture in the air, fires are spreading much more quickly

* With little to no rain for some time and no rain forecast until next year, officials are warning the fire season is both hellish and far from over

* Former Queensland Fire and Emergency Services commissioner Lee Johnson on Thursday said climate change is exacerbating those dry conditions

WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN COMING DAYS?

* Weather forecaster Livio Remano says he hasn't seen conditions as extreme as those playing out now in his 20 years at the weather bureau

* He warns conditions are looking grim until at least Christmas

* Officials say fire conditions that eased on Thursday are expected to pick up again on Friday and into the weekend.

Australian Associated Press