From The Brisbane Times:
Brisbane is set to swelter through its hottest December day since 2001, with the mercury tipped to climb to 39 degrees today.
In Brisbane the temperature is forecast to climb rapidly throughout the morning, reaching 34 degrees by midday.
But the temperature will not peak until mid-afternoon, when it is set to hit 39 degrees – 10 degrees above the December average – about 3pm.
“It’s going to be very, very hot,” Bureau of Meteorology forecaster Michelle Berry said.
“It should remain quite hot even into the evening hours.”
The extremes of heat create perfect conditions for fires:
Controlled fires are presently burning at Beachmere, north of Brisbane and near Mount Isa, where a Brisbane-based fire crew was sent on Monday.
Queensland Fire and Rescue director of rural operations Peter Varley said any fire that started today would be extremely difficult to control.
“The farther west, the worse the conditions get,” he said.
The Queensland Fire and Rescue Service has mustered additional resources across the state’s south-east should the worst occur.
A strike team from Toowoomba arrived in Roma on Sunday and incident control points have been established in Warwick, Dalby and Roma.
Six water bombers and two aerial support aircrafts are also positioned across various parts of south western Queensland.