Warning to ‘leave immediately’: Bushfire threat flares again on Western Downs

Emergency warnings urging residents to flee are being issued as bushfires rage on the Western Downs, northwest of Brisbane.

Feb 13, 2023, updated Feb 13, 2023
Image: QFES

Image: QFES

Residents are being urged to leave immediately as a fast-moving fire at Myall Park and Hookswood near the town of Miles put properties under threat.

The warning to people between Leichhardt Highway, Gearys Road, Greens Road and Ryalls Road was issued just after 2.15pm by emergency services.

“A fast-moving fire is travelling Warramoo Road and is expected to impact Ryalls Road within the coming hours,” Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) said on Monday afternoon.

“This fire may pose a threat to lives. It will soon be too dangerous to drive. Major roads in the area may be impacted.”

The fires flared out of control on Monday as firefighters faced challenging conditions.

There are 50 bushfires burning across the state but authorities are most concerned about two blazes, with emergency warnings in place for fires at Myall Park near Miles and Montrose at Tara.

More than 40 residents from homes at Tara remained in evacuation centres on Monday.

Firefighters believe a number of structures have been lost but have been unable to access either area.

No fatalities or significant injuries have been reported, but firefighters said a number of people had been treated for smoke inhalation or heat exhaustion.

“Unfortunately, we are expecting another warm day, not as warm and not as challenging as yesterday, but still a very difficult day so the conditions will probably worsen through the day as the heat of the day comes on,” QFES state operations coordinator James Haig told the ABC.

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“We’re really focused on containing the fires, that’s stopping them spreading further and then bringing them under full control,” Haig said.

The Myall Creek fire has burnt through about 2300 hectares and continues to pose a threat, travelling between Myall Park Road and the Leichhardt Highway towards Warramoo Road and Old Forrest Road.

Firefighters are working to contain the fire. However, major roads in the area have been impacted.

The fire at Tara is smaller at about 840ha in size.

It continues to burn between South Road, Chinchilla Tara Road, Wieambilla Road, Church Road and Weranga North Road.

Water-bombing aircraft, two air support crews and dozens of ground crews remain on alert at both blazes.

Queensland sweltered through its hottest day in nearly two years on Sunday, with 40-plus temperatures in various parts of the state.


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