Queensland Firefighters Battle 12-Metre Flames In 'Rare' Bushfire Event
Firefighters and police have been doorknocking in communities north of Bundaberg, urging residents to leave as a 50km-long bushfire continues to burn into the night.
Residents in the suburb of Deepwater are being urged to either enact their bushfire plans or leave their homes, with a large, fast-moving bushfire now moving beyond containment lines.
The blaze was moving south-southwest towards inhabited areas as of 12:50pm on Sunday, after earlier tearing through containment lines set up in the nearby Deepwater National Park.
"The intensity of this fire covers some 9,000 hectares, and the flames are more than 10 to 12 metres high," Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said from the Emergency Management Queensland in Brisbane.
This is a fire the likes of which Queensland hasn't seen before, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services inspector Andrew Sturgeous said.
"This fire and the fire weather we're experiencing is not something we see … it's a very rare event," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services inspector Andrew Sturgeous said.
"This extreme heatwave that we're experiencing across the state, in particular the northern parts of the state, is an extreme weather event. And we now have a fire burning under these extreme conditions — it's not a run-of-the mill fire by any stretch."
"If you've seen fires before and you stayed at home … this is not like those other fires. This is a fire you need to pay particular attention to."
At least one home has been lost to the blaze.
Earlier, a fire south of Brisbane near Undullah was downgraded to an alert level.
In Sheldon south of Brisbane, a large grassfire on Saturday afternoon destroyed a shed and two caravans.
More than 10 fire crews were needed to bring the blaze under control. The fire was still burning within containment lines on Sunday, as Sheldon residents were warned to expect a smoke haze throughout the day and to close windows and doors.
Hot westerly winds, high temperatures and low humidity are making most of the state like a tinderbox, fire authorities said.
An evacuation centre has been established at Miriam Vale Community Centre on Blomfield Street.
Deepwater and Fernfield Roads were both closed on Sunday afternoon, and will remain so overnight, Queensland Police said.
Residents in rural areas have been urged to take the usual precautions, including avoiding using machinery and power tools if possible, and to call triple-0 immediately if they spot a fire.