Murray Lagoon at Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.
Murray Lagoon at Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.

Fire ban extended as hot, steamy conditions persist

IT WILL be a hot and sunny end to the week for much of Central Queensland with fire conditions remaining 'very high' until Friday.

In Rockhampton temperatures will rise to the very high 30s today, Thursday and Friday before cooling slightly on Saturday.

The cool change will be brought on by cloud cover expected to move in on Friday.

Throughout Friday and Saturday there will be a 30-40 per cent chance of thunderstorms, although significant rain is unlikely.

The Capricorn Coast can expect a cooler week with temperatures hovering around the low 30s well into the weekend.

There is also a 20-30 per cent chance of rain on the Capricorn Coast, albeit low expected totals.

Westward, Emerald is looking at a sizzling end to the week with high 30s and low 40s expected until, Monday.

Afternoon thunderstorms are a possibility for much of the Central Highlands on Friday and Saturday.

Fire danger ratings will remain 'very high' for the Central Highlands and Coalfields for the remainder of the forecast period but Capricornia will be downgraded to 'high' on Friday.

With significant reprieve in unfavourable fire conditions unlikely, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has extended its total fire ban for much of Central Queensland.

Central Highlands, Isaac, Mackay, Whitsunday, Woorabinda, Banana, Gladstone, Livingstone and Rockhampton Local Government Areas have had total fire bans extended until 4pm, December 20.

"Heightened fire conditions are perfect for bushfires to ignite and spread quickly," A QFES statement read.

"Under a local fire ban all open fires are prohibited and all permits to light fire which have been issued in the designated areas have been cancelled.

"Power tools may be used during a local fire ban however QFES encourages people to use these with extreme care and ensure adequate equipment is available to extinguish any fire which may start.

"This may include having a person available to watch out for any ignitions that occur."