As raging bushfires continue to devastate Queensland and New South Wales, fire crews are struggling to fight the blazes, with rainfall providing no relief and the Rural Fire Service warning conditions could worsen.
Fires across Queensland are still raging with crews fighting an uphill battle against the crisis. Despite rainfall predicted for Sunday, conditions instead turned dry bringing lightning and wind, worsening conditions for firefighters.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Acting Commissioner, Mike Wassing, said the fires are resisting efforts to control them and it would take heavy rainfall to impact the blazes.
“These fires will not go out — even the rainfall that we get that we’ve seen in some of those isolated storms will not be putting them out,” Mr Wassing told ABC News.
“If I use the analogy, a bit like our aircraft: the aircrafts are really helpful but they won’t put the fire out. In the same way these showers won’t put the fire out.”
However, Mr Wassing said some of the larger fires causing grave concern over the past week have now been contained, though many still require resources and monitoring.
“I’m really pleased to advise that some of the large fires we’ve had the last week that have been cause for concern and certainly had significant impact are now contained, and well contained,” Mr Wassing said.
“Specifically the Cobraball fire in Central Queensland — we still have resources on that fire and will for some time but that fire’s looking very well contained.”
In New South Wales, RFS Commissioner, Shane Fitzsimmons, said conditions are set to worsen over the coming week with temperatures expected to hit the 40s and strong winds and limited moisture likely to exasperate the fire danger across the state.
Mr Fitzsimmons said more than 1500 crews were battling the blazes across New South Wales in an attempt to contain as much as they can before the worsening conditions hit mid-week.
“We are expecting to see a worsening of conditions, particularly as we start heading into Tuesday and then continuing through Wednesday and Thursday again,” Mr Fitzsimmons said.
For communities who have already been impacted by the fires, and who are facing hardships as a result, the federal and state governments have now extended assistance grants which are available for a wide number of regions across Queensland and New South Wales.
Grants of up to $180 per person, to a maximum of $900 for a family of five or more, are now available to eligible people experiencing genuine financial hardship as a result of the impact of the bushfires.
The grants will provide assistance to individuals, families and communities to help get them back on track as soon as possible and recover from the devastation of the fires.
Further funding has also been made available to support more emergency services in their fight against the fires over the coming weeks.