Firefighters battle on as wind picks up and conditions set to worsen

Firefighters struggle at Binna Burra and Numinbah Valley as 200 people leave homes and wind makes firies job harder


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TOUGHT TIMES: Fire fighters are struggling to contain the Scenic Rim's biggest blaze. Conditions eased overnight but strong winds have fanned flames this morning.

TOUGHT TIMES: Fire fighters are struggling to contain the Scenic Rim's biggest blaze. Conditions eased overnight but strong winds have fanned flames this morning.

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The fire has now claimed 4200 hectares, with about 200 people evacuated.

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FIREFIGHTERS at Binna Burra and Beechmont are monitoring unstable containment lines that QFES says are almost impossible to maintain.

Scenic Rim mayor Greg Christensen said this morning that the fire had burnt out about 1700 hectares, forcing about 200 people to abandon their homes and seek refuge.

Little relief is in sight from the dangerous conditions fuelling the fires, and southwest winds to 45km/hr will continue today, finally easing on Thursday.

QFES Assistant Commissioner Kevin Walsh, Chief Superintendent Ben Marcus from Queensland Police with and Police Minister Mark Ryan inspected the fire front this morning.

Commissioner Walsh said firefighters were not expecting any sort of reprieve until Wednesday.

"We are expecting wind gusts between 40 and 50 km/hr so today will be a challenge," he said.

He said wind conditions in the fire region could be different from those predicted by the Bureau of Meteorology, with wind tending to unpredictably change direction once it hit the valley.

"It may get better tomorrow but we won't see much until Wednesday, when we can take more direct action to the fire."

Superintendent Marcus said all people in the danger zone were accounted for.

"There has been no loss of life or serious injury and that's largely thanks to people following instructions," he said.

"The school is closed but is not impacted by the fire.

"Police will be escorting home owners back to their properties to retrieve medications and care for their animals."

Mr Ryan urged people to pay attention to official warnings.

"If the police or QFES say to evacuate, then please evacuate," he said.

"There has been significant investment of resources here, there are 40 police crews who have door-knocked almost 1000 residents.

"We are grateful there is no loss of life, so please listen to the messages."

Cr Christensen said the place of refuge set up at Moriarty Park at Canungra would provide access to social workers and information about how to access emergency government assistance funds now available.

"The Insurance Council of Australia will also have a representative here to provide information and advice in that area," he said.

Daytime temperatures for Jimboomba and Beaudesert will reach a top of 32 degrees at least until Saturday.

The Weather Bureau sees virtually no chance of any precipitation into next week.

Beaudesert Times

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