Qld fire threat eases in cooler conditions

Robyn Wuth
Queensland firefighters will be given a reprieve with dangerous heatwave conditions set to ease

Firefighters in Queensland have taken advantage of cooler temperatures to get a hold on major fires still burning across the state.

The mercury soared in fire-ravaged areas on Wednesday, but milder temperatures were welcomed on Thursday tio allow exhausted firefighters a chance to regroup.

About 60 fires are still burning but none are posing an immediate threat to homes.

The state of fire emergency declared nearly a fortnight ago has been lifted for 36 of the 42 local government areas affected.

However, strict fire bans remain in place for the Toowoomba, Lockyer Valley, Somerset, Ipswich, Southern Downs and Scenic Rim.

Firefighters have pushed on with backburning operations with very high fire danger expected for parts of the state into the weekend.

Aircraft are continuing to fight one of the largest fires, the Pechey blaze, which has threatened communities north of Toowoomba on the Darling Downs.

On Thursday, authorities confirmed that fire had destroyed a fourth house near Ravensbourne.

Damage assessments are still under way and there are unconfirmed reports that six homes have been lost in the Pechey blaze along with sheds and farm equipment.

That fire has so far burnt nearly 20,000 hectares and has a firefront stretching more than 100 kilometres.

Officials say 180,000 hectares of land has been burnt since the bushfire season started.

That takes the total number of homes lost in the past fortnight or so to 20, with Cobraball in central Queensland losing 15, one at Cooroibah on the Sunshine Coast, and the four at Ravensbourne.

No significant rain is expected until January and authorities say the bushfire danger will stretch well into the new year.