- More than 80 fires are burning across the state
- A NSW air tanker was called in to help with the Pechey fire
- Ravensbourne residents are being told to leave immediately
- Campers on Moreton Island told to head for Tangalooma resort to escape fire.
- Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warns people to stop wasting time and evacuate
That is all from Brisbane Times‘ bushfire live blog for the day. Watch out for the wrap of today’s firefighting efforts and the Queensland communities that were forced to evacuate.
QLD blazes: Storms not enough to quench Sunday fires
A storm is any disturbed state of a body especially affecting its surface, and strongly implying a wind force. It may be marked by significant disruptions and lightning (a thunderstorm), heavy precipitation (snowstorm, rainstorm), heavy freezing rain (ice storm), strong winds (tropical cyclone, windstorm), or wind transporting some substance through the atmosphere as in a dust storm, blizzard, sandstorm, etc.
Storms have the potential to harm lives and property via storm surge, heavy rain or snow causing flooding or road impassibility, lightning, wildfires, and vertical wind shear. Systems with significant rainfall and duration help alleviate drought in places they move through. Heavy snowfall can allow special recreational activities to take place which would not be possible otherwise, such as skiing and snowmobiling.
The English word comes from Proto-Germanic *sturmaz meaning “noise, tumult”.
Storms are created when a center of low pressure develops with the system of high pressure surrounding it. This combination of opposing forces can create winds and result in the formation of storm clouds such as cumulonimbus. Small localized areas of low pressure can form from hot air rising off hot ground, resulting in smaller disturbances such as dust devils and whirlwinds.
If your community is affected by these fires, keep up to date with the latest warnings and advice from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services here.
QLD blazes: Storms not enough to quench Sunday fires
Stay safe and there will be further Brisbane Times coverage of the developing Queensland bushfires from Monday morning.
The Sunshine Coast Council has advised that the Buderim and Caloundra resource recovery centres are temporarily closed as a result of damage sustained during the storm that swept through parts of the Sunshine Coast on Sunday.
Sunshine Coast Council Local Disaster Management Group Co-ordinator Tom Jamieson said the centres were closed to ensure staff and customer safety, but would likely reopen Monday.
“Large trees and debris are blocking the entrances and power lines were brought down near the entrance to the Caloundra site,” Mr Jamieson said.
“We are working hard to reopen these sites as quickly as possible and will resume normal operations as soon as it is safe to do so.
“In the meantime, we ask the community to please avoid these locations.
“We expect both sites to reopen on Monday and we thank the community for their patience while we make the areas safe.”
At 8.45pm on Sunday, QFES warned campers in the Cowan Cowan area of Moreton Island to leave immediately due to the threat of a worsening bushfire.
“A dangerous fire is travelling in a southerly direction from the north of the Island. As the evening progresses, this fire is expected to change direction and move in a northerly direction,” QFES said in the alert.
“There is also potential for this fire to move unpredictably. It is expected to impact campsites right across Moreton Island in the coming hours and days. The fire could have a significant impact on campers.”
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services warn there is a bushfire to the west of Tarome and that conditions are worsening.
Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters say they may not be able to protect every property and that residents should not expect a firefighter their your door. Power, water, and mobile phone service may also be lost during the blaze.
Meanwhile, the evacuation warning for Ravensbourne has been downgraded to ‘prepare to leave’. Residents who had already evacuated are advised that they may return but that conditions could still get worse.
“Currently as at 8.15pm Sunday 17 November, an unpredictable fire is burning in Ravensbourne,” QFES said in a statement.
“This prepare to leave message is for residents within an area that extends from the southern side of Perseverance Dam Road and Cressbrook Dam, to Brennan Road, Garvey Road, Purtill Road, McQuillan Road and Esk Hampton Road. The fire is likely to impact these areas.”
There are also ‘prepare to leave’ warnings in place for Mount Lindesay in the Scenic Rim and Tregony in the Southern Downs region.
The bushfire at Ravensbourne continues to rage, causing the closure of Esk Hampton Road to all traffic in all directions.
Meanwhile, a ‘stay informed’ warning has been issued for nearby Cressbrook Creek.
“Currently as at 7.10pm Sunday 17 November, an unpredictable bushfire is burning in Ravensbourne. Properties bounded by Cressbrook Dam, Perseverance Dam Road, Three Mile Road and Sebastapool Road are not under direct threat at this time, however this could change quickly and people in these areas need to stay informed,” the alert reads.
Campers on Moreton Island have been told by fire authorities to leave immediately, with a large bushfire burning on the island now threatening popular camping spots.
The fire was travelling south from the northern side of the island as at 4:30pm, however fire authorities are warning the fire is unpredictable and could change direction and move back northwards overnight.
“[The fire] is expected to impact campsites right across Moreton Island in the coming hours and days. The fire could have a significant impact on campers,” QFES said in a statement.
Tangalooma resort has opened its doors to campers displaced by the fire, and any campers still out on the island are being urged to head there as safely as possible.
Major south-east Queensland bushfire alerts current on Sunday afternoon:
STAY INFORMED: Sharon (near Bundaberg) bushfire as at 4.15pm
STAY INFORMED: Lowmead vegetation fire as at 4.15pm
LEAVE NOW: Tarome bushfire as at 4.15pm
STAY INFORMED: Baffle Creek vegetation fire as at 4.10pm
STAY INFORMED: Avoca Vale grass fire as at 4.10pm
PREPARE TO LEAVE: Tregony (part of the Clumber fire) bushfire as at 4pm
PREPARE TO LEAVE: Bulwar (part of the Cowan fire) bushfire as at 3.35pm
PREPARE TO LEAVE: Esk (part of the Pechey fire) bushfire as at as at 3.30pm
STAY INFORMED: Duckinwilla bushfire (north west of Maryborough) as at 3.20pm
STAY INFORMED: Ravensbourne (Esk Hampton Road, part of Pechey fire) bushfire as at 2.30pm
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Acting Commissioner Mike Wassing says firefighters will be battling large blazes across the state for weeks to come unless there is significant rainfall.
“Even the rainfall we get that we have seen in some of those isolated storms will not be putting the fire out,” he said at a press conference at Kedron.
“If I use the analogy a bit like our aircraft. The aircrafts are really helpful, but they will not put the fire out.
“In the same way that these showers won’t put the fire out.”
Mr Wassing said large fires that were previously causing concern this week, including Woodgate in north Queensland and Cobraball in central Queensland, were now contained.
He said the Moreton Island fire was also contained but had the potential to flare.
Mr Wassing said they were well-resourced to fight the Pechey fire.
“You’ve heard from the premier, we’ve got a large air tanker that’s done a number of drops doing jobs there already and probably will do some more there.
“That’s really effectively working for us.
“We’ve got a task force of 22 rural fire and fire rescue appliances sitting in Esk … Esk will certainly see a lot of smoke in worst-case scenarios, will see some embers.
“We had over 250 people attend a community meeting there yesterday so again a really great connection with the local community in those locations.”
Mr Wassing said danger ratings would drop to ‘very high’ warnings from ‘extreme’ and ‘severe’ but there was no relief.
“The reality though is with these large fires, we’ll be fighting some of these fires weeks yet until we get significant rainfall, these fires will not go out,” he said.
Hail has fallen in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, while the risk of dry lightning sparking more fires remains.
The Bureau of Meteorology’s Lauren Murphy said there was significant smoke haze from the fires in north-eastern NSW.
“We’re expecting that to continue with a strong south to south-westerly change that is moving through later this evening, directing smoke from the fires across the region,” she said.
“Today we are looking at severe thunderstorm activity around the east coast of Queensland, particularly south of Rockhampton.
“We’ve already really seen significant thunderstorm cells delivering some large to giant hail around the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
“However, with the thunderstorms there’s also a risk of dry lightning.
“We saw several fires with dry lightning activity yesterday and that risk continues today.”
Residents of Ravensbourne, in the Toowoomba region, are being told to leave immediately as the fast-moving Pechey bushfire worsens.
“Currently as at 2.30pm Sunday 17 November, a large, unpredictable and fast-moving bushfire that extends from Perseverance Dam Road, Mount Jockey Road, Horrex Road, Garvey Road, Purtill Road and McQuillan Road,” a Queensland Fire and Emergency Services emergency alert said.
“It is travelling in a northerly, easterly and south-easterly direction.
“The fire has now crossed Brennan Road and is now travelling easterly towards Regent Road.”
Residents on Brennan Road up to Regent Road should evacuate via Esk Hampton Road in an easterly direction towards Esk.
Residents on and in the vicinity of Horrex Road and McQuillan Road should evacuate west along Esk Hampton Road towards the New England Highway.
Residents on and in the vicinity of Perseverance Dam Road should evacuate west towards Crows Nest.