Queensland has been issued with the highest fire danger ratings the state has seen since 2018 ahead of bushfire season.
The Darling Downs and Granite Belt regions have been issued with catastrophic fire ratings, while extreme fire danger has been predicted for Maranoa, Warrego and Channel Country districts today.
Frequent wind and consistent 33-degree weather have caused vegetation growth in these areas to dry out, while a lack of rainfall following La Niña has also contributed.
Recent thunderstorms in the region sparked 941 lightning strikes, potentially starting fires in bush and grasslands, according to Weatherzone.
The fire danger rating system was changed last year.
All types of vegetation are now included in the bushfire rating, whereas the old system only took bush and forest fires into account.
Southern Queensland will likely be issued with more catastrophic bushfire warnings as the dry and warm conditions continue, Weatherzone said.
The state's Western Downs region battled out-of-control bushfires earlier this year.
The catastrophic rating comes ahead of a potentially dangerous spring and summer bushfire season.
Parts of the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia will all face increased bushfire risk for Spring 2023, the Australian Fire Authorities Council warned in August.
Areas impacted by bushfires in previous years, including the Black Summer fires in 2019-2020, can expect increased risk as vegetation has grown.
"Almost the entire country can expect drier and warmer conditions than normal this spring, so it is important for Australians to be alert to local risks of bushfire over the coming months, regardless of their location," AFAC CEO Rob Webb said.
"Understand your risk, know where you will get your information, and talk to your family about what you will do."