Dozens of homes have been lost to 80 bushfires currently raging across Queensland, with firefighters fearing strong winds could hamper efforts to control the chaos.
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) on Saturday confirmed 80 bushfires were raging across the state.
35 homes have been lost so far.
Shocking footage from an RACQ Lifeflight helicopter captured several bushfires burning through the night in Tara, in the Western Downs region.
Multiple alerts urging residents to prepare to leave or avoid smoke have been sent out all morning, with several urgent warnings being sent for parts of the Western Downs and Gladstone region overnight.
Incident controller Inspector Kent Barron said of particular concern was the fire in Tara. Firefighters across Queensland have been brought in to control the blaze, with crews using aircraft and observation platforms to observe the flames.
Two emergency warnings have been issued for the rural town, and the surrounding areas of The Gums and Wieambilla.
Inspector Barron said the flames were near residential areas, with Saturday’s forecasted winds could prove difficulties for firies on the ground.
“We had some really strong winds come through yesterday (Friday), really pushing those fires into the north-westerly direction,” he said.
“When we have breakouts they’re moving really quickly in these conditions.
“We’ve got similar conditions today, winds coming from the same direction, we are hoping they won’t be as strong but we are keeping a really close eye on the weather.”
As of 8.56am, people living between Suttons Road, Ellerslie Land Road, Blackburns Road and McCaskers Road, including Werona Roa in Tara and The Gums have been told to evacuate. A similar warning was issued for Tara and Wieambilla at 8.34am, including homes on Blackburns Road, Wieambilla Road, Chinchilla Tara Road and Upper Humbug Road.
Watch and Act notices have also been issued for the areas surrounding the zones. While firefighters are working hard to contain the fires, emergency services have warned that conditions could worsen with little notice.
“You should not expect a firefighter at your door. Firefighting aircraft are helping ground crews,” the QFES have said.
North of the state, residents living in homes between Lowmead Road and Fingerboard Road were also urged to leave immediately due to a fast-moving fire at an update issued at 2.01am.
LEAVE IMMEDIATELY - Lowmead and Colosseum (near Miriam Vale) - fire as at 2:01am Saturday, 28 October 2023.
For all current warnings, updates and mapping go to https://t.co/vqyJTUPBhe. pic.twitter.com/6m4G6oGK6k
— Qld Fire & Emergency (@QldFES) October 27, 2023
North westerly and westerly winds will drag the heat into the south of country, with temperatures in NSW and the Sydney basin climbing to 35C from Monday.
From Tuesday, similar condition will hit Queensland, elevating the fire danger again.
“Many other areas (in NSW are) still pretty dry, and so any fires moving through will move rapidly across the landscape,” said Sky New meteorologist Rob Sharpe.
He said it would be cooler by Wednesday for the southeast as the heat returns to the north and western parts of the country.
While 49 bushfires are still currently active in NSW, Mr Sharpe said the risk on the Mid North Coast will not be “as much of a concern” due to the wet ground from consecutive days of substantial rain.
Ground crews and aircraft from the NSW RFS will continue to monitor the blazes over the weekend, with residents urged to monitor advice for details around changing conditions.