Over 100 Bushfires Raging Across Queensland As Conditions Worsen
Queensland remains in the grip of a bushfire crisis that has been forcing communities to flee, and there is little relief in sight with five more days of intense weather ahead.
Despite the danger, no lives have been lost and most of the 10,000 evacuees from Wednesday were allowed home on Thursday.
Conditions have eased but 132 fires were burning across the state by early evening on Thursday with firefighters most concerned by three.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said there was still an enormous task ahead to contain the blazes that have been difficult to predict due the heatwave and winds.
"This is a huge job with five more days of intense weather," she told reporters.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services inspector Garry McCormack said the first of the three fires of most concern on Thursday evening was one near the tiny Fraser Coast community of Tinnanbar, which has been cut off.
"We are holding that fire at the moment and we are very confident we will protect that community," he said.
More than 250km up the coast, the monster Deepwater fire at the epicentre of the crisis is still actively burning and will be fought on two fronts from Thursday night.
If it breaches Baffle Creek it could impact on the community of Winfield to the south, so they have been warned the safest place to be is elsewhere.
Residents have been told to leave Captain Creek, not far from Baffle Creek where fires have been burning for almost a week.
Communities in the Rockhampton area such as Stanwell and Kabra, The Caves, and Broken River, east of Rockhampton, which has been ringed by fire for days, were also told to leave.
Ms Palaszczuk flew to the fire zone on Thursday and ironically had not long left Kabra when an alert was issued for residents to leave.
At least one home was destroyed at Kabra on Wednesday, while 8,000 people were told to leave nearby Gracemere.
"We have just come back from Rockhampton and Kabra and Gracemere. You don't understand what it is like until you are on the ground - the conditions are intense," she said.
The third worry for firefighters was a blaze in the south of the state at North Stradbroke Island, due to the risk of it affecting major infrastructure such as powerlines.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the damage officially tallied to date had been two houses,15 sheds, two cabins, a bus, an excavator destroyed, and with damage to 14 sheds, three cabins, 14 houses, three vehicles, a boat, a truck and a trailer.
Fifteen firefighters have suffered heat stress and fatigue.
Bureau of Meteorology state manager Bruce Gunn said there was no relief in sight.
"The fire danger was well below the catastrophic levels of Wednesday but it is still in the very high to severe range and that is serious enough to get fires going again and continue them on," he said.
"There is no significant rainfall expected to stop these fires so while we don't have the catastrophic conditions, the fires will continue until we can find another way or another to put them out."