Families in Queensland’s southeast have been forced to flee as out-of-control bushfires threaten homes.
Locals in the Darling Downs area, located near the NSW border, were evacuated on Sunday as dozens of crews fought to protect more than 10 homes in The Pines.
As of Sunday evening, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said it was still not safe for residents to return home.
It’s hoped that incoming thunderstorms could help firefighters tackle the blaze, with Brisbane, Canberra and Sydney all gearing up for a drenching this week.
Southern Queensland and NSW’s Northern Rivers region remain in the firing lane for thunderstorms, which will bring the possibility of flash flooding.
This comes after eastern regions of the NSW and Queensland border were bombarded by golf ball-size hailstones last week.
Central Australia received more than a month’s worth of rain last week – Alice Springs recorded 36mm of rain in just 24 hours.
Widespread falls of 60 to 100mm are forecast across southern Queensland and the Murray Darling Basin this week, with some areas expected to reach up to 200mm.
A heatwave warning has also been issued for northern areas of Queensland, extending across the Peninsula and Gulf Country districts until Wednesday.
An ongoing heatwave across Northern Australia is likely to continue, with maximum temperatures surpassing 40C.
Heatwave conditions along Western Australia’s west coast, reaching down to Perth, will continue through to Thursday.
According to the Bureau of Meteorology, severe heatwaves are uncommon and are particularly challenging for vulnerable people such as the elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions.