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Queensland heatwave: How the state is beating the heat

By Tim Swanston and staff, Monday February 12, 2018 - 17:42 EDT
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A cat licks an ice cube at the RSPCA shelter at Noosa on the Sunshine Coast. - ABC

Queenslanders are finding ways to keep their cool as the state's heatwave continues.

Ken Groth has opened up rooms at his B&B near Gympie for free to people needing air conditioning.

"We've got a little lady with a little girl who's got cancer today. They're going to stay in one of our rooms for a few days," Mr Groth said.

"We've got another 71-year-old coming down to stay a night with her carer.

"People have been very gracious with it … they're not expecting to stay in the rooms for the whole week, they want to share it around."

Queensland Ambulance Service's Lachlan Parker said the heat could affect people who are vulnerable.

"Often when the heat comes through it often sort of compounds a pre-existing medical condition and the risk patients for us are generally those elderly patients and also very young," he said.

"As best as we can tell over the last three days we've had 27 increased cases for heat-related illnesses — they range from people just being sort of general fatigue or headaches through to a little bit more serious."

School cancels parade, swimming pool opens for free

Playtime and parade were cancelled at Longreach State School as the temperature crept towards 44 degrees Celsius.

The local Rotary Club will cover the cost of swimming pool admission over this week's hottest days.

In Central Queensland, volunteer firefighters and park rangers are closely monitoring a bushfire about 20 minutes east of Rockhampton.

The Rural Fire Service's Tracey Charles said the hot and dry conditions were unusual at this time of year, when normally they would be preparing for cyclones.

"We are going to have to watch [this fire] vigilantly," she said.

"If the wind picks up, we could be in for a little bit of strife."

Central Queensland hits 42C

Temperatures in Rockhampton hit 40C today, while further west in Central Queensland the town of Emerald reached 42C.

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Rick Threlfall said temperatures were well above average for this time of year and were still building.

"Through the working week there's no respite at all, the temperatures are very much the same all the way through the week — well above average," Mr Threlfall said.

"It's pretty unusual, normally we get our hottest temperatures generally a bit earlier on in the year through January, so it is a bit unusual to be quite as hot as this in February.

"That means particularly at night time with those high temperatures your body just doesn't get a chance to cool down and recover.

That sort of continuous heat during the day and night adds to heat stress which builds up over time."

Average statewide maximum temperatures are likely to exceed 40C in the next few days, something that has only been recorded twice before in the month of February.


© ABC 2018

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