Fraser Island bushfire closes in on attractions, tourists evacuated
The island was this morning hidden under a thick blanket of smoke as the fire continued to burn across two fronts, about 3.8km north of Kingfisher Bay resort and about 2km south of Cathedrals camping ground.
The blaze, which was sparked by an illegal campfire, has been burning for six weeks, chewing through 76,000 hectares of tinder-dry scrub land.
World heritage-listed national parks, homes and hotels remain under threat.
Hervey Bay’s ferry terminal was yesterday transformed into an emergency hub, with a convoy of fire trucks lining up to battle the fires.
Kingfisher Bay resort decided to close its doors less than 48 hours ago and send every hotel guest back to the mainland as a safety precaution.
Chris Merrison returned from the eastern side of Fraser Island and told 9News yesterday conditions were deteriorating.
“The flames really took hold, and the eastern side doesn’t look good,” he said.
Conditions are expected to worsen today, with temperatures rising to 30 degrees as strong north-westerly winds sweep through, fanning flames over the island.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) said weather conditions continue to exacerbate the fire and smoke on the island.
“Water bombing aircraft will continue to support fire ground actions,” advice on the Queensland Government website read.
“Travel to the island remains restricted.”
Residents have been told to prepare for the worst, limiting their movements to within close proximity to where they are staying and avoid travelling on inland tracks and roads.