National

Qld bushfire crisis: conditions improving

By AAP Newswire

THE QUEENSLAND BUSHFIRE EMERGENCY:

Authorities say this is the worst start to the Queensland bushfire season in recorded history.

WHAT IS STARTING THEM?

* Police say ten fires have been deliberately lit in Queensland, eight of them by children.

* A special task force has been established to investigate suspicious fires.

WHERE ARE THE MAJOR FIRES ON WEDNESDAY?

* On Wednesday morning, 78 fires were burning from the southeast corner to Lockhart River in the far north.

* The worst fire was on the Sunshine Coast, where some of the residents from Peregian Beach are now being told they can return.

* Those evacuated from nearby Peregian Breeze Estate, Lake Weyba and Weyba Downs must wait until they are told it is safe to go home.

* Fires on the Granite Belt around Stanthorpe, Applethorpe and Ballandean and in the Gold Coast hinterland are contained but still burning.

WHAT'S THE DAMAGE SO FAR?

* There have been no fatalities.

* Queensland Fire and Emergency Services have confirmed one home has been destroyed by the Peregian fire with another severely damaged.

* The Stanthorpe fire, which takes in the Applethorpe fire, has destroyed eight structures, including four homes and water tanks.

* Eleven homes were obliterated at Sarabah and the heritage-listed Binna Burra Lodge has been seriously damaged.

* Further north, one house was razed to the ground in a very fast grassfire near Mareeba on Thursday.

* The damage tally is likely to rise once fire-ravaged areas are checked.

WHAT'S THE OUTLOOK?

* The Bureau of Meteorology says the fire danger has dropped to 'high' across much of the state on Wednesday and Thursday due to more moderate winds and higher humidity.

* However rising temperatures and ongoing tinder-dry conditions mean the fire danger will spike again on Friday.