'Do Not Return Home': Wind To Refuel Raging QLD Bushfires
A large tanker has been brought in from New South Wales ahead of back up crews to help battle a dangerous and unpredictable bushfire north of Bundaberg.
Residents who have left the community of Deepwater have been urged not to return home, with conditions expected to worsen from midday.
Two homes and a boat shed have been lost and hundreds evacuated in the blaze that has so far torn through 11 hectares at Deepwater Water National Park.
It's one of 40 wildfires currently burning across the state amid extreme heatwave conditions that will continue over the next week.
"This is about day four; we have several days ahead of us and each day we are getting more intense fire behaviour," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Inspector Andrew Sturgeous said on Monday.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the "unprecedented" conditions -- a combination of temperature, low humidity and variable winds -- were worse than those during the state's 2009 bushfires.
Forty fire trucks and six aircraft are battling the blaze that is expected to push back south towards the communities of Deepwater and Baffle Creek with a wind change around midday.
"Yesterday, we had very strong winds that pushed the fire into the community of Deepwater," Sturgeon said.
"Today we are going to see lighter winds around 25 to 30 km/h but it will be drier. It will be a challenging fire from around midday when it will again run south."
About 500 people from roughly 300 properties were evacuated on Sunday, with more expected, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll said.
"The message is, particularly in that area of Agnes Water, Baffle Creek, Deepwater, to listen to authorities and please do not be complacent," she said.
"While we are keeping an eye on this fire, we are monitoring several fires around the state."
Residents in Deepwater, Agnes Water and Baffle Creek are being urged to follow their bushfire survival plan or to leave if they do not have one.
"If you are not in the area, do not return, as conditions are too dangerous," the latest update at 10.20am said.
All residents should evacuate in a westerly direction towards Miriam Vale using Tableland Road and Fingerboard Road.
An evacuation centre has been set up at Miriam Vale Community Centre, with two community meetings planned -- one at midday at Miriam Vale and one at Agnes Water at 6pm.
The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting severe to extreme heat conditions to persist across central and northern parts of the state over the coming days.
Over the weekend, temperatures reached the low 40s in Mareeba. This hasn't happened in November for at least 20 years.
"This is unprecedented in many ways -- it's certainly new ground and territory for us in this state," Carroll said.
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