Popular Gold Coast retreat evacuated

 

About 100 people had to be evacuated from a popular hinterland retreat on the Gold Coast on Monday night, just hours after taking shelter there from a nearby bushfire.

At 6:00pm yesterday, Queensland Police advised residents living on Lamington National Park Road they could take refuge from the nearby Sarabah bushfire at O'Reilly's Guest House.

Fire and Rescue teams fight a wild bushfire as it approaches Peregian Beach township on David Low Way. Picture: Lachie Millard
Fire and Rescue teams fight a wild bushfire as it approaches Peregian Beach township on David Low Way. Picture: Lachie Millard

But just hours later the emergency warnings changed and about 100 police, guests and staff had to be moved.

Strong winds were expected to increase overnight, potentially causing the fire to intensify and spread quickly, according to police, so the group is now sheltering at another nearby evacuation centre.

Here's what else you need to know about the fires that continue to rage across Queensland.

 

A bushfire approaches the Peregian Beach township. Picture: Lachie Millard
A bushfire approaches the Peregian Beach township. Picture: Lachie Millard

WHERE ARE THE MAJOR FIRES ON MONDAY?

• On Monday evening, 73 fires were burning from the southeast corner to the Cairns hinterland, although that figure fluctuated throughout the day.

• Police have declared a bushfire emergency situation and homes have reportedly been lost at Peregian Springs north of the Sunshine Coast.

• Residents of Peregian Springs, Peregian Beach, Peregian Breeze Estate and Marcus Beach have been advised by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) to leave immediately.

• As of 1:30am, the fast-moving fire was travelling in a north-easterly direction from Emu Mountain Road and impacting Peregian Beach and Marcus Beach.

Fire and Rescue teams fight a wild bushfire as it approaches Peregian Beach township. Picture: Lachie Millard
Fire and Rescue teams fight a wild bushfire as it approaches Peregian Beach township. Picture: Lachie Millard

• The QFES said the fire was expected to have "a significant impact on the community" and power, water and mobile phone services could be lost.

• A major blaze around the Stanthorpe and Applethorpe areas has been contained but officials say containment lines and crews will be put to the test by dry winds.

• At about midnight, residents of Ballandean, south of Stanthorpe, were told they could return to their homes.

• Several schools in the Binna Burra region will be closed on Tuesday as bushfires continue to pose a threat.

 

Smoke fills the air near Peregian Beach. Picture: Lachie Millard
Smoke fills the air near Peregian Beach. Picture: Lachie Millard

WHAT'S THE DAMAGE SO FAR?

• There have been no fatalities.

• 57 homes and properties have been either damaged or burnt down since the crisis began on Thursday.

• 10 homes were lost in Peregian Beach on Monday night, according to the ABC and News Corp.

• The Stanthorpe fire, which takes in the Applethorpe fire, has destroyed eight structures including three homes and water tanks.

• 11 homes were obliterated at Sarabah by the fire, now at Binna Burra, and the heritage-listed Binna Burra Lodge has been seriously damaged.

• Further north, one house was razed to the ground in a very fast grassfire near Mareeba on Thursday.

About 190 people have registered as evacuees.

• The damage tally is likely to rise once it is safe to check fire-ravaged areas.

 

WHAT ARE RESIDENTS DOING?

Many were forced to evacuate their homes with some going to shelters and others seeking refuge with friends or family.

• But some in the Stanthorpe, Applethorpe and Binna Burra areas are being allowed to return to their properties to get a look at the damage, check on their pets and access medication.

• Six schools will be closed on Tuesday as a cautionary measure.

• Many roads are closed and people are being urged to check emergency services bulletins before travelling into affected areas.

WHAT RESOURCES HAVE BEEN DEPLOYED?

• Fire crews from NSW and federal defence personnel are assisting Queensland agencies.

WHAT'S THE OUTLOOK?

• Conditions are volatile and not expected to ease before Wednesday, when temperatures and winds will drop.

• A fire that destroyed a home at Paddington in Brisbane on Monday night was unrelated to the bushfires

• Authorities say this is the worst start to the state's bushfire season in recorded history.


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