Australia

Emergency warnings in place for Noosa as Queensland bushfires worsen

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Thousands of residents who were evacuated from Noosa to escape the path of a bushfire are unable to go home.

Authorities are warning residents of Cooroibah/Ringtail Creek and Noosa north shore to evacuate, issuing an emergency warning for the Cooroibah fire on Saturday afternoon.

Queensland's Rural Fire Service said evacuating immediately is the safest option, but warned it may soon be too dangerous to leave. 

Residents in Tewantin are being advised to prepare to leave. 

Tewantin, Cooroibah fires . 9 November 2019. Firefighters and helicopters tackle the fires at Lake Cooroibah Road and Jirrimah Crescent in Cooroibah in Noosa Shire . Photo - Rob Maccoll
Tewantin, Cooroibah fires .
AAP

Roughly 2000 people were evacuated from parts of Tewantin and Noosa North Shore on Friday afternoon and into the night, independent Noosa MP Sandy Bolton said.

 

They sought shelter at local showgrounds, sporting facilities and church outreach centres.

"I know that this does have an emotional impact on people," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Saturday.

"We'll make sure that there is the appropriate counselling that people will need, because when they actually have to suddenly get up and leave their home and belongings it can be very distressing."

It's been a difficult 24 hours for residents and firefighting crews in the area.

One firefighter broke their leg and a home has been destroyed at Cooroibah.

"I think when eventually the areas are opened up and people can see how close these fires came to property they'll be aware of what an incredible job the firefighting team did," Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington said.

The Tewantin fire is not running, but line checks are being carried out by authorities to see if it is safe for people to go home.

It is understood the fire started at Cooroibah before jumping the river to Teewah and creeping towards Tewantin.

The Tewantin fire is one of three major fires burning in Queensland, with crews also fighting blazes at Lower Beechmont in the Gold Coast hinterland and at Thornton in the Lockyer Valley, where conditions are worsening.

Weather conditions that are causing a severe fire danger across the Scenic Rim and much of the state's southeast corner are now moving north into central Queensland.

That warning is in place for the coastal and adjacent inland areas from Gympie to Ingham, and in the northern goldfields including Charters Towers, Julia Creek and Georgetown.

Tewantin, Cooroibah fires . 9 November 2019. Firefighters and helicopters tackle the fires at Lake Cooroibah Road and Jirrimah Crescent in Cooroibah in Noosa Shire . Photo - Rob Maccoll
Tewantin, Cooroibah fires.
AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has described the fires burning across Queensland and NSW as of Saturday morning as "simply terrifying".

"To those Australians who have lost everything, we are devastated at your loss and we'll be there to support and rebuild," he tweeted.

"To all those in affected areas stay safe and please listen to and follow emergency services instructions."

Conditions are expected to ease on Monday but flare up again on Wednesday.

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