You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Queensland is braced for a day of extreme temperatures and fire danger with the mercury expected to soar to around 40C and beyond in many parts of the state.
Brisbane is expecting a top temperature of 39C today, Ipswich 41C, the Gold Coast 35C, and the Sunshine Coast 38C.
Vast parts of inland Queensland are expected to see maximum temperatures in excess of 40C, including 43C in the town of Winton.
About three-quarters of the state are expecting high to extreme fire danger, and fire authorities have already relocated crews and fire fighting aircraft to deal with any blazes.
Peter Varley, from the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, says the combination of high temperatures and low humidity are a real concern.
"Under these conditions, if we get a fire started in certainly would be very difficult to control," he told ABC Radio.
Health authorities have urged Queenslanders to check on elderly friends and neighbours at least twice a day, and to ensure children receive plenty of fluids.
"It's particularly important to look after the young and old, who are most vulnerable to heatstroke," Australian Medical Association Queensland president Alex Markwell says.
"The number one priority is to stay hydrated."
Community Safety Minister Jack Dempsey said above average temperatures are already being experienced across the state.
He reminded parents to never, ever leave their children alone in cars.
"In two minutes, temperatures can hit up to 60 degrees inside a car," he said.
"In a hot car, children can die in less than 30 minutes."
Queensland Ambulance Service Commissioner Russell Bowles says crews are prepared for cases of heat stress.
"Were asking people to heed the advice and take precautions during periods of hot weather. Heat-related illnesses are serious and can be life threatening," he said.