Fight to save homes in path of massive bushfire
UPDATE 2PM: A bushfire burning south of Toowoomba near Millmerran could reach homes within the next two hours.
Residents are urged to relocate to a safe area if needed.
The blaze has burnt out more than 400ha of land near the Gore Hwy at The Pines.
The large, slow moving fire is travelling in a westerly direction and is expected to impact the areas of Flamingo Rd, Rosella Rd, Peacock Rd, Boondindilla Rd and north towards Pine Ridge Rd in the next two to six hours.
Fifteen fire crews and water bombers are working to contain the blaze.
8AM: Residents in the vicinity of a large grassfire burning south of Millmerran are being urged to finalise their bushfire plans and prepare for a bushfire in their area.
There are reports a caravan and shed were destroyed in the fire.
A Queensland Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman this morning said a large, slow moving fire was travelling in a westerly direction and was expected to impact the areas of Flamingo Rd, Rosella Rd, Peacock Rd and Boondindilla Rd in the next four to 22 hours.
"Leaving is the safest option for survival in a bushfire," she said.
"Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable."
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She said about four square kilometres had been burned since the fire began beside the Gore Hwy at The Pines on Wednesday evening.
"If residents require an evacuation point they are advised to go to the Millmerran Sports Centre on Commons Street in Millmerran.
"Currently, several fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters may not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door."
6AM: Residents were forced to evacuate and the Gore Highway was closed to traffic as fire crews fought through the night to contain a grass fire south of Millmerran.
More than 20 rural and urban fire crews battled the blaze as well as water bombing crews as the fire threatened properties in Wattle Ridge and Cypress Gardens.
A watch and act message was released yesterday by the Queensland Fire and rescue service asking residents to enact their bushfire plans.
Back burning around properties is expected to provide assistance in protecting houses and other structures. Hot and windy conditions frustrated efforts to contain the blaze.
Queensland Fire and Rescue South West Regional Manager Tony Johnstone said crews worked around the clock to control the fire.
"The fire behaviour has been erratic making it very difficult to contain," Mr Johnstone said.
"Two water bombing crews were on the scene late yesterday as well as 20 fires crews.
"Residents have been cautioned to evacuate their premises. An evacuation point has been established at the Millmerran Sports Centre."
As of last night the fire had burnt more than 50 hectares of vegetation.
The smoky conditions also forced the closure of the Gore Highway for an hour yesterday morning.
People are asked to visit ruralfire.qld.gov.au for regular updates.