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Qld crews braced for dangerous wind shifts


Queensland firefighters are braced for a dangerous collision of weather systems (AAP Image/Rob Maccoll) 

Queensland firefighters are braced for a dangerous collision of weather systems as more than 60 fires continue to burn in the state.

A severe fire danger warning is in place for a large swathe of southern Queensland, with soaring temperatures and erratic weather conditions forecast for Wednesday.

Communities west of Brisbane and the Gold Coast are of major concern with a new fire front headed towards the five-star Spicers Peak Lodge at Maryvale on the Southern Downs.

A "leave now" warning is in place, with the fire service saying conditions are getting worse and the fire is likely to have an impact on the lodge.

Resort managers knew some days ago that fire would likely threaten the property, and began advising guests not to keep their bookings. All but a handful of staff had left by Wednesday morning.

Authorities are also concerned that erratic weather could fan the Cobraball fire near Yeppoon in central Queensland, which is only 70 per cent contained.

That fire claimed 13 of the 14 houses lost in Queensland since late last week.

Winds are already picking up, with gusts of about 30km/h at some fire grounds. Gusts are expected to near 50km/h later in the day, with temperatures in some areas 6-8 degrees above average.

"Potentially we've got a weather condition where we could actually have three different weather fronts," QFES assistant commissioner Tony Johnstone has told the ABC.

"We've got a cold air and a warm air and when the cold air and the warm air sort of mix we end up with three different wind directions, which can basically turn ... the flank of a fire into a head fire pretty quickly."

Large fires are also burning in rugged terrain in the Scenic Rim region, inland from the Gold Coast.

Mayor Greg Christensen fears another black day, two months on from September fires that destroyed 11 homes and the historic Binna Burra Lodge in the hinterland and Scenic Rim.

"It has the potential to be, absolutely, because of the severity of the conditions and the number of fire fronts. For me, it has that potential," he told ABC radio.

A severe fire danger warning is in placed for the drought-stricken Darling Downs and Granite Belt, the Wide Bay and Burnett region, and the Southeast Coast taking in Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

Fire authorities are comfortable with the resources Queensland has to deal with the day that lies ahead, including 40 aircraft.

But they say containment lines around major blazes will be tested with forecast changes in the weather, including dramatic wind shifts, high temperatures and a dramatic fall in humidity.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says Queenslanders must comply if authorities tell them to get out.

"Your safety is paramount," she said on Tuesday.

Health officials have warned vulnerable people to stay indoors, with air quality expected to plunge again on Wednesday as smoke from the Queensland and NSW fires spreads.

© AAP 2019