Storm warning: Lot of lightning, very little rain

 

DRY, gusty thunderstorms are forecast to sweep through tinder-dry southeast Queensland on Tuesday, fanning existing fires and sparking new ones.

The Bureau of Meteorology says the storms, which have a lot of lightning and very little rain, could build up anywhere between the Queensland-New South Wales border and Kingaroy in the afternoon.

"The balance is going to be on the bad side of the ledger, because there won't be too much rainfall," senior forecaster Jonte Hall told AAP.

The Bureau warns storms forecast for Tuesday afternoon are likely to have lots of lightning, but little rain.
The Bureau warns storms forecast for Tuesday afternoon are likely to have lots of lightning, but little rain.

"There will be a fair bit of cloud-to-ground lightning which has the potential to start new fires."

Mr Hall said high temperatures and "gusty and erratic winds" would make fire fighting conditions volatile before a cold front pushes through late on Tuesday night.

More than 40 fires are still burning across the state, with officials warning some could burn for months because the ground is bone-dry and there is no significant rain in sight.

Authorities have spent the past few days strengthening containment lines around blazes across the state.

The Sarabah fire remains of the most concern to authorities because it is burning in valleys within the Scenic Rim that are hard to access. That fire has destroyed 11 homes and significantly damaged the historic Binna Burra mountain lodge.

Around 70 lodge employees are out of work while the owners start to rebuild. Police are investigating whether it was lit deliberately.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has pleaded with tourists not to abandon regions decimated by the fires.

She said the government would launch a campaign to lure visitors back to areas like the Gold Coast hinterland as soon as the fire danger had passed.

"Once the fires have gone away - we've still got a couple of weekends to go - but we need to run a great tourism campaign to say to everyone come back and support the region," she told the Seven Network on Monday.



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