- Feb 6, 2018
It might be flooded here in Campbelltown later today!
It woke me up last night. Pissing down and pouring.Supposedly the rain is going to start here in a couple of hours and rain until around midnight tomorrow, or after that...
Bloody hell.Queensland bushfire emergency prompts thousands to flee from Gracemere
Updated 6 minutes ago
PHOTO: Residents leaving Gracemere heading into Rockhampton amid the fire threat on Wednesday afternoon.
Most residents have fled the central Queensland town of Gracemere, south of Rockhampton, after authorities issued an urgent plea to leave as a fast-moving and dangerous fire burnt toward the town.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Commissioner Katarina Carroll said the fire flared quickly, moving from Stanwell toward Gracemere, but a major aerial effort had slowed its pace by nightfall.
But she warned the danger was far from over.
"The fire at Gracemere, we've had the advantage of using the aerial tankers to give us some good suppression in that area, so that has assisted us greatly," she said.
"However, that cannot operate through the night, and in some of those areas it's actually too dangerous to have crews in those areas."
It comes as the Bureau of Meteorology declared a catastrophic fire risk for the Capricornia and Central Highlands and Coalfields in central Queensland.
You can follow the latest updates on our live blog.
QFES predictive services manager Andrew Sturgess said the Stanwell fire would not reach Rockhampton.
"It will get really smoky, visibility will be really bad but we are not expecting the fire to get near to Rockhampton. Our firefighters are starting to get on top of this fire," he said.
Smoke rising over Gracemere from a fast-moving bushfire threatening the central Queensland town.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said schools in the catastrophic zone would not be opening on Thursday.
"We want families to be safe and I think all families would agree with me these are unprecedented conditions," she said.
Commissioner Carroll said nearly 200 fires were burning across the state.
"Some of those are still of great concern to us, particularly around Ambrose, Camilla and obviously the fire that is at Gracemere," Commissioner Carroll said.
"Can I please ask all in that area to listen to authorities ... look at traditional media as well as social media."
State disaster coordinator Bob Gee said firefighters had been risking their own lives to ensure Gracemere residents got away safely.
"I won't confirm specific numbers but the best estimate I can give you is that the vast majority of people at Gracemere have moved or are still in the process of moving," he said.
Resident Alison French left the town with her two young children.
"It's horrendous, you wouldn't want to be near it," she said.
"It was a relief when we left and the kids are safe — that's the thing I care about more than anything.
"I don't know if we're going to have anything to go back to, but it seems to be getting worse."
Earlier, the QFES Commissioner confirmed several homes had been destroyed in fires burning at Finch Hatton, west of Mackay.
"I do think that's in single digits at the moment, we will not be able to confirm that for some time," he said.
Finch Hatton resident Luana Royle told the ABC conditions there had been "terrible".
"Our fires around here, you couldn't even see 500 metres in front of you this morning," she said.
"Everyone is OK, but two houses have went, which is pretty sad."
Meanwhile, fire emergencies continue to threaten properties around Deepwater, south of Gladstone, and further north in the area from Ambrose to Mount Larcom.
PHOTO: Debris and corrugated iron from a shed destroyed by the fire at Finch Hatton in north Queensland.
By 5:00pm, local authorities told the ABC all residents in Ambrose and Mount Larcom had been evacuated.
Scott Collins lost his home and his dog when the fire ripped through Capricornia Drive at Deepwater on Tuesday.
Mr Collins said he fled the house with his 25-year-old son and a second dog on Sunday as the fire approached.
"You've got your friends grieving over you because you tried to save a few extra things that in the end aren't important — as long as your family's out," he said.
"But we left our dog which was upsetting — they're the things that cut you deep. We couldn't get him in time."
Mr Collins said it had been important just to get out safely.
"The problem there is that you could get trapped with one road in and one road out, that's why we took off straight away — they're [firefighters] the professionals, if they say go, you go.
"It was a thick mass of smoke and you couldn't see so much flame, but with the smoke it had become so thick ... we realised it was pretty intense, you could feel the heat."
Yep a week or two ago due to strong winds they only had one run way for domestic planes and 75 flights were severely affected or cancelled that day.i heard that on the sky news channel on foxtel