FIREFIGHTERS are bracing for extreme fire conditions into next week as the Bureau ramps up its forecast for a sizzling start to summer.
Brisbane is expected to hit 36C on Tuesday, with Ipswich and the western suburbs tipped to face temperatures to 38C as northerly winds swing to the west-northwest.
Brisbane's record December high was 41.2C in 1981.
Bureau forecaster Ben Annells said high humidity would make the heatwave extremely uncomfortable in the southeast, although bayside suburbs would be several degrees cooler.
"It will most likely feel a lot hotter than it is because of humidity levels," he said. "We're also concerned about the fire risk."
Queensland Health has activated its heat stress response plan, warning residents to keep hydrated and to reduce outdoor exercise because of the potential for heat stroke to be fatal.
Firefighters were battling blazes yesterday at Goomboorian and Glen Echo, near Gympie.
It comes as Victoria recorded its hottest November day in more than a century with the temperature soaring above 45C in some parts of the state.
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service central regional manager for rural operations Brian Smith said a high fire danger existed for large parts of the state.
"Very strong winds up to 40km/h are expected and combined with very hot weather, these pose a real risk for fires getting out of control," Mr Smith said.
"The combination of strong winds, high temperatures and low relative humidity will make it very difficult to contain vegetation fires, so we're asking residents to take extra care and be alert.
"Landholders should have a bushfire survival plan in hand and anyone who has conducted hazard reduction burns over the past few days should ensure the fire was properly extinguished or contained.
"We are also asking people to ensure they are not throwing cigarette butts out of car windows and to be careful when operating machinery in grassed areas."
Temperatures are expected to drop 10C by Thursday as a trough comes through bearing a cool southerly wind.
There is a possibility of storms Monday and Tuesday.
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