Severe storms across Queensland could ignite more bushfires, Bureau of Meteorology warns

| 16.11,19. 12:17 PM |

Severe storms across Queensland could ignite more bushfires, Bureau of Meteorology warns

Photo: The Thornton fire has caused a number of "leave now" warnings over the previous days. (Supplied: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services)

Storms forecast for large areas of Queensland today may do more harm than good as firefighters enter their second week of the bushfire crisis.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Sam Campbell said a band of storms would reach from the Gulf of Carpentaria, through the northern interior, Roma, and across to Bundaberg and south to Brisbane.

There is a chance some will become severe in Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast, Gympie and Maryborough, with possible large hail and damaging winds.

"Not a lot of rainfall is expected, but they could produce a lot of lightning," he said.

"So there is an increased threat from those storms, which could act as ignition points for fires."

The fire danger rating is severe for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt, and very high for the south-east coast, Wide Bay and Burnett, Central Highlands and Coalfields, the Northern Goldfields, Gulf Country and the Peninsula.

Mr Campbell said the forecast threat for the Darling Downs and Granite Belt for Sunday had increased from severe to extreme after a trough across the interior moved further east than initially anticipated, reaching to Toowoomba and Gatton.

"It will be much drier through, that area now, than we expected," he said.

"With slightly increased winds, it will be a little bit stronger than forecast."

Tomorrow, severe storms are again on the cards for the same towns and cities as today, but the Gold Coast will also be in the firing line.

The storms could also bring lightning with little rain, again increasing the chances of more fires starting, Mr Campbell said.

There are more than 50 fires burning across Queensland, with seven current Watch and Act warnings, amid high temperatures and hot, dry westerly winds that will continue across the weekend.

Temperatures could soar from the mid to high 30s at major fire grounds.

Of most concern is the blaze at Pechey, north of Toowoomba, which has been burning for several days and flared again yesterday forcing an evacuation.

The Woodgate fire has also been threatening a number of communities.


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