Weather Bureau records temperatures 10C above average amid severe September fire weather in Scenic Rim and Redlands

THE Weather Bureau has found that some parts of Australia have recorded the driest January to August period for more than a century.

Forecasters found that low humidity, gusty winds and hotter than normal conditions in southeast Queensland and northeast New South Wales led to dangerous fire conditions.

Fires broke out right across the state, with houses lost in the Scenic Rim, and Sunshine Coast.

Fires remain burning on North Stradbroke Island and the Scenic Rim.

QFES area director for the south coast area Kaye Healing said everyone knows when they stick their head out the window that it's dry.

"This is not the environment for complacency," she said.

"We need everyone to look at how they can prepare their properties so firefighters have access should they need to defend them.

"A lot of people have old cars, machinery and shed with long grass around them.

"Even in areas where there isn't any grass, there are leaves, twigs and other fuel sources on the ground, so clean up where you can."

Ms Healing said the fires near Canungra showed that traditional firefighting methods sometimes fail.

"Normally we would chase a fire towards natural breaks like drainage gullies and the fire would go out overnight," she said.

"But there is no dew point in these conditions so that makes it quite difficult.

"We've seen how fires can be quite erratic and it's so dry at the moment that fires are burning in areas where they wouldn't normally burn."

Christmas Creek resident Kris Jennings from Cowboy Trucking said as far as he knew there had only been 80ml of rain in his area since March 2017.

"The only rain we've had since then was the night before my wedding three weeks ago but that was just hail," he said.

"There's been no significant rain, no one's got grass and I can't see it raining any time soon.

"No one can plant crops and people are killing their cattle. I'm not complaining - we have 60 rodeo bulls and 40 cows but if we didn't have the truck we'd be screwed.

"People are getting ripped off on hay prices, I can get hay for $25 to $30 a bale up north but people are selling bales here for $140.

"What we really need is a flood."

Forecasters said the fire risk was made worse by below average rainfall, leading to prolonged and severe drought and very high dryness factors for fuels.

The bureau found: January to August rainfall totals were 50 per cent below average for many locations;

It was the driest January to August on record, since at least 1900, for some locations;

It was the lowest rainfall on record for the 20 months starting January 2018, and 32 months starting January 2017 for many areas on and west of the ranges in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland.

Maximum temperatures on September 5 and 6 were more than 10 °C above average in some areas.

The bureau has forecast a 60 per cent chance of a shower for Beaudesert and Jimboomba on Thursday and a 50 per cent chance on Friday but any falls will be minor.

Redlands has an even money chance of showers.

This story Driest January to August since 1900, with severe fire weather first appeared on Beaudesert Times.