News State QLD News ‘Prepare to leave’: Fraser Island fire emergency heightens

‘Prepare to leave’: Fraser Island fire emergency heightens

fraser island fire
Dozens of fire crews and water-bombers have been battling the fire for weeks. Photo: Twitter
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A bushfire raging on Fraser Island is closing in on local attractions, with  anyone remaining at an island resort told to prepare to leave.

Queensland Fire and Emergency services issued the “prepare to leave” warning for Kingfisher Bay Resort at 10am (local time) on Tuesday.

People in other areas of the island were urged to stay informed as the fire continued to burn on two fronts on – one about three kilometres north-east of the resort that is moving south and another about four kilometres west of Happy Valley that is also moving south.

On the eastern side of the island, the fire is about three kilometres south of Cathedrals on Fraser and is heading south towards Eli Creek.

Queensland Fire and Emergency services said weather conditions continued to make fire and smoke conditions worse as the island was covered in a thick blanket of black smoke on Tuesday morning.

“Smoke will affect visibility and air quality on K’gari (Fraser Island) and adjacent mainland areas over the coming days,” QFES said.

Kingfisher Bay Resort was closed on Monday, with all guests ordered to head back to the mainland. It will not reopen until at least December 14.

Meanwhile, the Hervey Bay ferry terminal became an emergency hub on Monday, with a convoy of fire trucks lining up cross to the island to battle the fire.

QFES said it had more than 30 crews battling the blaze and is also using water-bombing crews.

“The makeup of the sand island makes our work difficult and we share the communities’ concerns, but we’ll continue to work to minimise the impact,” it said in a tweet.

  • See the latest updates from QFES here

The fire, which was started by an illegal campfire six weeks ago, has already burned through 76,000 hectares of tinder-dry scrub land. World heritage-listed national parks, homes and hotels remain under threat

Chris Merrison, returned from the eastern side of Fraser Island on Monday, told the Nine Network conditions were deteriorating.

“The flames really took hold, and the eastern side doesn’t look good,” he said.

Conditions are expected to get even worse throughout Tuesday. Temperatures will rise to 30 degrees as strong north-westerly winds sweep across the island.

Travel to the island remains restricted. QFES also warns any residents, campers and visitors who remain there should limit their movements and stay close to where they are staying.