Fraser Island residents told to leave immediately as bushfire approaches Happy Valley

06 December 2020

Published by https://www.theguardian.com/

AUSTRALIA – People in Fraser Island’s Happy Valley were being told to leave immediately on Sunday night, with a bushfire expected to reach the township.

The bushfire warning was raised to emergency level late on Sunday and Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advised that leaving immediately was the safest option, because it could quickly become too dangerous to drive.

“Any persons in the vicinity of Happy Valley township should leave the area heading to the Eastern Beach and head south to Eurong Resort,” the warning said.

At 4.15pm on Sunday, a large fire was travelling in a southeasterly direction toward the township. It was expected to reach the area around 8pm and have a significant impact.

“Conditions are now very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing,” the warning said.

“The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path. Fire crews may not be able to protect your property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door: act now.”

Power, water and mobile phone service could be lost and road conditions could become very dangerous into Sunday night. The warning said those in the area would be affected by smoke, which would reduce visibility and air quality.

The bushfires were sparked by an illegal campfire on 14 October and have destroyed at least 82,500 hectares of the national park.

The fire continues to burn on multiple fronts on the east and west sides of the island.

About 100 specialist firefighters are on the ground.

They are being supported by fixed-wing bombers, heli-attack bombers, air attack platforms, an air observation platform, a large aerial tanker and an LAT lead plane.

Fraser Island is about 250km north of Brisbane, 123km long and covers 181,851 hectares.

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