Weekend heat, wind raise Qld bushfire risk
Queensland's premier has jetted back to her fire-ravaged state with a warning of worsening weather conditions that could plunge the state back into a bushfire crisis.
Annastacia Palaszczuk urged everyone in the state to heed the advice of emergency personnel, especially over the weekend when winds pick up and temperatures rise to five to eight degrees hotter than usual.
She returned early from an overseas mission on Thursday, when she visited officials, fire crews and volunteers in Peregian on the Sunshine Coast.
Thousands fled their homes there after a fire allegedly lit by two teens became a raging inferno that sent glowing embers hundreds of metres ahead of the fire front, threatening everything in its way.
Police allege a 14-year-old Peregian Springs boy and a 15-year-old Coolum Beach girl started the fire in bushland on Monday afternoon, sparking a three-day emergency.
An elderly woman lost her home and others who were evacuated returned on Thursday to find their verandahs, fences and gardens charred.
Conditions have eased but authorities are still scrambling in high fire-danger conditions to contain dozens of blazes before temperatures spike again.
The premier said winds are expected to pick up over the weekend, and from Monday to Wednesday temperatures in half of the state will be hotter than the average.
"Now what that means is very dry conditions, roughly up to half of the state," she warned.
Hundreds of people who rushed to get out of harm's way across southern and southeast Queensland have returned to homes ringed by blackened bush and reeking of smoke.
They include the residents affected by the Peregian blaze on the Sunshine Coast, in the Granite Belt and the Gold Coast hinterland.
Authorities say there is an element of survivor's guilt in parts of the hinterland, where some homes were razed while others are untouched.
"The sad reality is, the topography played a key part in that selection process if you like, about where the impact was most severe," Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen said on Thursday.
"Tragedy comes and goes in life.
"How it affects us is determined by how much we can focus on the joy inside of us being greater than that which is affecting us from the outside."
Fire crews there have been working around the clock for ten days straight and they are tired.
Fresh crews were expected to arrive there on Thursday to relieve fatigued firefighters on Friday.
Winds there are expected to be around 30km/h or lower in the coming days, giving them a chance to reign the fire in.
Officials say the ground is dry and no rain is forecast for up to weeks in some parts, meaning some fires will keep burning.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said a task force set up to determine whether any of the fires were deliberately lit has so far found 13 were either deliberate or caused by an accident or reckless behaviour.
"We have charged two adults, and thirteen juveniles have been dealt with," she said.
© AAP 2019