Cool change ahead but Queensland still on high alert


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An emergency warning for residents to leave immediately has been issued for the town of Dalveen and surrounds in Queensland’s south as bushfires threaten lives and homes. 

“Your life could be at risk. It will soon be too dangerous to drive,” the warning from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said early on Wednesday.

The warning is for residents of Dalveen, The Glen, Silverwood and Cherry Gully near Warwick affecting properties between the New England Highway, Warwick Killarney Road, and Cullendore Road.

The QFES said multiple large and potentially deadly fires were burning in the area, with properties being impacted.

“Firefighters may not be able to stop the fire from getting closer. Do not expect a firefighter at your door.”

The latest emergency warning comes as weary firefighters are being told it may be days before they get a reprieve as blazes continue to threaten homes across the state.

Relief crews from Victoria and New Zealand will begin arriving on Wednesday.

Strong winds and high temperatures ensured extreme conditions on Tuesday, with more than 1000 firefighters battling about 80 blazes across the state.

The major concern has been the Tara fire west of Brisbane which has claimed one life, burned 20,000ha and destroyed more Queensland houses in the past week than the 2019 Black Summer disaster.

 The Tara blaze has destroyed more than 50 homes. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS 

A cool change is expected to move through the state over coming days, bringing showers and storms from Friday.

Fire danger ratings may be set to decrease but QFES will remain on high alert.

Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said homes were lost at Wallangarra but Queensland firefighters launched a co-ordinated operation with a NSW water-bombing aircraft to save the 600-strong Southern Downs border town.

“It was a great joint operation with NSW. We shared resources, (had) really affective co-ordination which is something that we are well practised in,” he said.

Mr Wassing told ABC TV on Wednesday the Dalveen and the Wallangarra fires would be the focus of firefighting efforts in coming days. 

“Tara is really now into very much the relief and recovery stage. We’ve still got a lot of fire crews out there making sure that it remains contained,” he said.

Mr Wassing said conditions on Wednesday would be far better for firefighters in the southwest and southeast of Queensland “but still very volatile and still somewhat unstable”.

The Tara fire destroyed 53 houses – four more than the Black Summer fires claimed across Queensland.

Another blaze that flared on Tuesday was at Goodwood north of Brisbane which destroyed a home and forced a school’s closure after jumping containment lines.

 Countless Queenslanders have been forced to evacuate their homes. Image by Darren England/AAP PHOTOS 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese flew into Queensland on Tuesday to pledge support, with federal government funding available through the disaster recovery payment and allowance.

He expected 42,000 claims to be made.

The Queensland government also offered financial assistance to affected families and primary producers before pledging $1 million towards a bushfire appeal.

More details on how people can donate will be released on Wednesday.

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