Campers Forced To Flee As QLD Battles Blazes And Mops Up Storms
A resort has become a refuge for about 220 campers and holidaymakers forced to flee a bushfire on Moreton Island off southeast Queensland.
More than 200 evacuated holidaymakers have spent the night at a resort on Queensland's Moreton Island as a major bushfire continues to burn.
Tangalooma Island Resort has become a refuge for about 220 people forced to leave camp grounds and holiday homes in the north of the island on Sunday.
They were forced out by an unpredictable bushfire sparked by a lightning strike a day earlier.
That blaze is now burning close to the tiny community of Bulwer, with people told to leave as crews try to steer the blaze around the township.
Erratic, high winds fanned the fire on Sunday, driving it towards isolated camp grounds where hundreds of people, including some schoolies, were staying.
"We're close to capacity so we turned our two conference facilities into evacuation centres, opened up the amenities," resort director David James has told AAP.
"We hosted a BBQ dinner free of charge. We also turned the sprinkler systems off around the garden and some of the campers pitched their tents there."
He said vessels were travelling to and from the mainland on Monday, but many evacuees were waiting to see what authorities would say about the fire conditions ahead.
The latest warning says campsites on the island could be affected for some days.
Meanwhile, around 700 homes are still without power after fierce storms pummeled southeast Queensland on Sunday.
Residents of southeast Queensland are mopping up after widespread fierce storms pummeled some suburbs felling trees, and large hailstones smashing car windscreens.
Around 23,000 homes between the Gold Coast and Gympie lost power at the height of the storms on Sunday afternoon, with Energex recording 225,000 lightning strikes between midday and 6.30pm.
Around 700 homes were still waiting for electricity to be restored on Monday morning.
The Sunshine Coast was hardest hit with cricket-ball sized hail smashing the windscreens of cars travelling on the Bruce Highway.
Similar-sized hail was recorded in the Glasshouse Mountains, and on the coast at Caloundra, which also received around 35mm of rain.
Smaller hail was recorded in Brisbane's northern suburbs, and as far south as Southport on the Gold Coast and Tamborine in the hinterland.
However the Bureau of Meteorology said most of the bushfire-affected areas missed out on any rain.
"Unfortunately it's not been a huge help to those fighting the fires," forecaster Kimba Wong told AAP.
Queensland is expected to see elevated fire danger for the next few weeks, with 70 fires currently burning across the state.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said most of the state will experience high and very high fire conditions this weekend.
The Granite Belt and Darling Downs in Queensland are expected to reach severe conditions today and extreme conditions tomorrow.
Brisbane will peak in the mid 30s this week, while temperatures are set to soar across much of the country.