A second person has died in bushfires in the Tara region of Queensland’s Western Downs and 16 homes have been destroyed as firefighters battle to bring the blazes under control.
A woman died Wednesday after suffering cardiac arrest following the death of a man trying to protect his property Tuesday evening.
The devastating fires have already burned more than 11,000 hectares of land in the region and 350 people have been evacuated.
An emergency warning was also issued for Halliford, near Dalby, urging residents to leave immediately.
Rural Fire Service Acting Deputy Commissioner Peter Hollier said ABC that the conditions remain very difficult.
A second person has died and 16 homes have been destroyed in bushfires in the Tara region of Queensland’s Western Downs. In the picture you can see a destroyed house
A woman died Wednesday after suffering cardiac arrest following the death of a man trying to protect his property Tuesday evening. The picture shows a house destroyed by fire
“Winds will continue to be strong, possibly gusty at times. “It will be another challenging day for us today as we head into areas with extreme fire danger.”
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service chief commissioner Warren Buckley said although light rain overnight provided some relief: “It is still not safe to return.”
“I need to make this 100 percent clear…it is still a very dangerous fire, unpredictable and not under control at this time.”
In a speech to state parliament on Thursday morning, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said firefighters had tackled more than 100 major fires this week.
“They have been fighting them around the clock and their work is not finished,” she said.
“We are all praying for rain from the storms forecast in the Southeast over the next day or so.”
“Please continue to follow the advice of our police and emergency services, do not take any risks and stay safe.”
On Wednesday, a devastated homeowner had to cut short an interview on live television as he was overcome with emotion after his property was destroyed by bushfires.
The unnamed man has been left with next to nothing as out-of-control fires continue to burn in Queensland’s Western Downs region.
“This sucks,” the visibly emotional resident told Today on Wednesday, fighting back tears.
“We’ve been out here for 10 years without any fires, and then this. Our trailer, four sheds, a car (are all gone).”
The distraught homeowner was so overcome with emotion that he was forced to cut short the interview and tell the reporter, “Have to stop.”
Devastating bushfires have devastated rural and regional Queensland for weeks and several people are at risk of homelessness after losing their property in the flames.
On Tuesday, the fires in Queensland claimed lives for the first time this season.
An emergency warning was also issued for Halliford, near Dalby, urging residents to leave immediately
A body was discovered amid horrific bushfires in Tara (pictured is Millmerran in the Western Downs).
Police said a body was discovered in Tara on the Western Downs, where Queensland Fire and Rescue Service urged residents to evacuate.
“This is an emerging situation and the investigation is ongoing,” police said in a statement.
A report will be prepared for the coroner.
An emergency warning overnight asked residents to leave their homes in Tara, Wieambilla, Kogan, Goranba and Weranga west of Brisbane, as well as Millmerran Woods.
Authorities said it was not yet safe for residents of Millmerran Downs and Cypress Gardens to return as the fire was still burning in the area on Wednesday morning.
Firefighters across Queensland are on high alert as above-average temperatures and stronger winds are forecast, while residents in the state’s south await the all-clear to return home.
More than 50 people were forced to evacuate their homes on Tuesday as more than 40 firefighters with waterbombing aircraft battled to contain the blaze.
The large, fast-spreading fire – one of more than 40 being monitored across Queensland – was burning between Tara, Wieambilla and Kogan late on Tuesday.
Rural Fire Service Chief Commissioner Tony Johnstone said five houses were lost in the blaze and a further ten properties were under close watch.
At least six homes have been destroyed by the current Queensland bushfires (Millmerran pictured).
He said due to strong winds the fires had advanced 200 meters from the bushfire.
In other recent fires across the state, another home and three sheds have burned to the ground.
A QFES spokesman said the number of properties lost was likely to rise once the fire service could safely carry out damage assessments.
Evacuation centers have been set up at the Western Downs Regional Council customer center and Millmerran showground.
Mr Johnstone said the fire service would carry out line scans overnight.
“We do line scans every night so that the next day crews can actually see where the fire started,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
Fire bans have been put in place in Rockhampton, Livingstone, Mackay, Whitsundays, Isaac, Central Highlands, Barcaldine, Blackall-Tambo, Longreach, Barcoo, Winton, Gladstone and Banana due to increased fire conditions.
Fire and Emergency Services Minister Mark Ryan said the government had extended the contract period for firefighting aircraft due to a forecast long fire season.
Water bombing aircraft have already carried out more than 6,000 drops.
Extreme fire danger levels are expected for the state’s Gulf Country, Central West, Northwest and Channel Country in the coming days.
The Bureau of Meteorology said a southerly change would bring cooler conditions from the Channel Country in the west of the state later this week, with rain possible in the Western Downs by Friday.
As of 11am on Wednesday, QFES issued two emergency alerts, two watch orders and 20 alerts to stay informed of fires across the state.
Bushfires have already claimed two lives in New South Wales.
More than 40 fire crews with waterbombing aircraft are working to bring the bushfires under control (pictured: volunteer firefighters in Central Queensland).
The body discovered near Tara was the first life lost to bushfires in Queensland this season (pictured, Tallebudgera Valley fire).
Waterbombing aircraft have made more than 6,000 drops in Queensland (pictured, Millmerran)
On October 9, a volunteer firefighter died after suffering a “medical incident” while battling a fire in Bean Creek, near Kyogle in the northern part of the state.
His death was followed a little over a week later on October 16 by the death of his family father, Richard Mainey.
Mr Mainey had stayed at his property in Temagog with four family members to protect it from the bushfires that swept through the area, 30km west of Kempsey near Port Macquarie.