A difficult year that began with a series of horrific bushfires looks set to end in much the same way.
A massive bushfire sweeping across Queensland’s Fraser Island has seen tourists evacuated and infrastructure threatened … and with temperatures soaring across the country, there are fears there is much, much more to come this year.
The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) says approximately 40% of the island has now been burned, with 76,000 hectares being scorched since last month.
The island’s biggest holiday resort, Kingfisher Bay Resort, has already closed its doors and is to helpt guests to leave as major bushfires continue to move towards the property.
A letter obtained by the ABC revealed Kingfisher Bay management “will temporarily close” the resort until December 14.
The closure comes as QFES Superintendent James Haig told ABC Breakfast that weather conditions appeared to be on firefighter’s side today, with north-easterly winds set to push some of the fires back.
“Just on Saturday alone we dropped 250,000 litres on the island, that’s not even counting the trucks.” Superintendent Haig said. “All I want for Christmas is rain – we’re working with the conditions we’ve got,” he said this morning.
Yesterday, the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) confirmed there were currently 362 people on the island and the tourist hotspot was still closed to new visitors.
QPWS senior ranger Scott Brook told the ABC that no campers on the island were currently at risk, but smoke from the fire may be ‘uncomfortable’.
“Areas that would be influenced by fire front have been swept numerous times and roads that might lead people into danger have been closed,” he said. “I would welcome people who feel concerned to leave the island — certainly to seek fresh air if they have any medical issue that may require that.”
With summer starting tomorrow, grey nomads are reminded to be hyper vigilant to the threat posed by bushfires, and to be aware of the steps they should be taking.