Queensland Bushfire Evacuees Head Home
Hundreds of residents forced to flee when a bushfire tore through their small patch of central Queensland are returning home.
Fire crews are still battling more than 100 fires across the state but conditions have eased enough to allow them to get the upper hand and allow residents back into the area south of Gladstone.
Those who fled Deepwater, Rules Beach, Oyster Creek and Baffle Creek were allowed to go home from midday on Tuesday via a police road block at Hills Road.
Dean Sauer, 41 , initially stayed behind to defend the Rules Beach home he spent seven years building out of local timber.
"I said to the missus 'I'm not leaving'," he told AAP before returning home on Tuesday.
He said he was ready when the Deepwater fire came through.
He had back-burned parts of his 21-hectare property earlier in the year and set up an irrigation network on the roof to fend off flying embers.
"I didn't want to leave my house, I was determined to stay there and fight this f***ing thing," Sauer said.
"It came pretty bloody close, I'll tell you now. She was cooking."
Sauer was grateful to emergency crews who protected his property, particularly one helicopter pilot who stopped the firefront creeping towards his home when winds picked up on Friday.
"If I knew who he was I would buy him a carton of (beer), he was by himself and he didn't stop all day," he said.
"Hats off to him, he was just unreal."
Firefighters are still working to make sure the blaze doesn't break containment lines.
It has torn through 28,000 hectares of bush and farmland since November 22, and damaged homes that stood in the way
Access to the area via Deepwater remains closed and a disaster declaration remains in place as 20 fires continue to burn within the Gladstone council region.
"There are damaged homes, there are damaged sheds, and other infrastructure that people need to prepare themselves for," QFES assistant commissioner Steve Barber said.
Authorities continue to monitor several of the most serious fires including one on North Stradbroke Island, off Brisbane, and another at Lowmead in central Queensland.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Mark Roche warned the danger wasn't yet over and asked evacuees to be patient.
The Queen sent her "thoughts and prayers" to Queenslanders affected by the fires.
"I pay tribute to the commitment and dedication of the firefighters, other emergency services personnel, and the volunteers who are working tirelessly to contain the fires," the Queen's message read.