An eerie fog of dust blanketed South East Queensland, reducing visibility to less than 150m, and bringing flights, traffic, job sites, and cranes to a standstill in places as people hoped for the best to nose through the surreal conditions.
While the haze kept temperatures below the forecast 30-plus maximum, it also hampered efforts by firefighters to use aerial water bombers to contain blazes whipped up the winds that had driven the dust into the city.
A strong wind change, later in the afternoon, compound the already dangerous conditions on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts and in Brisbane, where fire crews were monitoring a string of outbreaks.
Queensland Laboratory has been conducting air monitoring accross the region with a number of ambient and indoor air monitoring stations set up to measure occupational and environmental dust concentrations. For more information on the dust or the potential health effects, contact Queensland and NSW Laboratory