Sweet Notes From Local Kids Left In Firefighters' Lunch
As Queensland firefighters work to save their state from fire, local kids are helping lift their spirits.
The Country Women's Association (CWA) is among the groups handing out packed lunches to firefighters on the Gold Coast hinterland, to get them through each day.
Inside them are some letters from local children.
"Dear firefighters," reads one note from a young girl.
I hope you don't get hurt and you can fight the fire, and win against the fire. I hope you want this water and lollies for energy and to eat and drink.
The young girl signed the letter, with a picture overleaf.
Some of the letters were written by students at Canungra State School, who thanked firefighters for saving their homes and pets.
"Thank you for putting out all of the fires. I can't believe you can do this much work and I hope you have a good rest," another letter reads.
"You made my day. You're brave, you're smart."
Firefighters are working to protect land in the Gold Coast hinterland, with containment lines holding in the Numinbah Valley.
An advice alert remains in place for two fires -- one that is burning in the Canungra Defence Base and is slowly travelling towards Lower Beechmont. The second is burning in O'Reilly, near Lamington National Park Road, though no properties are currently under direct threat.
Almost 80 fires are still burning from the southeast corner to Lockhart River in the far north, and have destroyed 33,000 hectares of bushland since the crisis began late last week.
The most dangerous blaze at Peregian on the Sunshine Coast was downgraded overnight but thousands of Sunshine Coast residents were still displaced.
By mid morning on Wednesday, they were told they could return to their homes as conditions ease.
Police said residents of Peregian Beach, Marcus Beach and Castaways Beach -- areas east of the National Safe -- were safe to go home, though those evacuated from Peregian Breeze, Weyba and Weyba Downs were not.
The fire is still not contained despite the help of a 737 aircraft that dumped 15,000 litres of fire suppressant on the flames on Tuesday.
The region received some brief showers overnight but not enough to extinguish the fire, with little rain expected anywhere in the state in the foreseeable future.
The Bureau of Meteorology said cooler temperatures and lighter winds on Wednesday and Thursday will be favourable for firefighters.However, the fire danger will spike again on Friday and Saturday when temperatures rise again.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said at least 17 homes and five commercial properties have been destroyed by bushfires since Thursday, with many more damaged.
A special police task force has been established to investigate whether any of the fires were caused by arson.
Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said detectives had so far established 10 fires -- in Brisbane, Stanthorpe, the southeast and central Queensland regions -- were deliberately lit. Eight of those were set by juveniles.