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Queensland weather stokes bushfires, leading to emergency warning north of Lowood

Saturday December 7, 2019 - 00:20 EDT

A number of fires have broken out in South-East Queensland on Friday afternoon amid a severe heatwave, with the community of Redbank Creek, north-west of Brisbane, told to leave immediately.

The emergency warning was issued just after 5:00pm for the fast-moving fire that was expected to impact Esk Hampton Road (between Ogrady Road and Cecily Road), Ogrady Road, Graves Road, MacKenzie Lane, Cecily Road and Highdale Road.

"The fire is expected to have a significant impact on the community," Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said in the warning.

Residents should evacuate via Esk Hampton Road in an easterly direction towards Esk to the Fernvale Futures Complex.

Another fast-moving blaze near Lowood, also west of Brisbane, has also sparked an emergency warning.



People living in Patrick Estate and Wivenhoe Pocket have been told to prepare to leave.

Helicopter footage showed a shed alight and large areas of scorched earth.

The bushfire is likely to impact Beutel Road, Keller Road and the northern part of Patrick Estate Road.



Also in the Somerset Region, another fast-moving blaze is heading towards campers at the Landcruiser Mountain Park, who have been told to leave immediately.

Meanwhile, two sheds were destroyed by a bushfire at Logan, south of Brisbane, with 15 fire trucks at the scene.

Those in the Darling Downs townships of Cypress Gardens and Forest Ridge had also been warned to stay informed about a bushfire that had been burning in the area for a number of days.

It had already destroyed two homes and three sheds.



'I was surrounded,' local says

Vince Alberry, from Cypress Gardens, was caught in the blaze on Wednesday.

He had gone to have a look at the fire 2 kilometres down the road but by the time he got home, it was too late to leave.

A row of fire trucks and two waterbombing helicopters defended his house and shed, the later dropping 20 bucketloads of water and fire retardant.

A bulldozer also created a fire break.

#alertme

"I was surrounded," Mr Alberry said.

"It was pretty scary.

"The fire was coming over the house, in the smoke.

"Then a firebomber came over and sounded his siren and just dropped it [the water] and it just came through the house, even with the doors closed."



Resident told to leave willingly or in cuffs

Norm Chapman smelt smoke at lunch and when he went to have a look he saw that the wind would push the fire to his house.

The retiree had been preparing his 20 acres for a bushfire.

He had built fire breaks, stripped trees, and removed any dead trees that would act as a ramp for a bushfire to reach the canopy.

"I got my bum back home, and got stuck into getting myself organised to defend … and then just at that time the firies turned up with the cops," he said.

"And I wasn't given an option, it was either go out in my own car, or go out in cuffs."

Mr Chapman estimated about 400 people evacuated, many were put up in local pubs and taverns.

"It pulls the community together, and it was great to see."

Local fire bans have been extended across South-East Queensland.

Restrictions will remain in place until next Friday for the Gold Coast, Logan, Ipswich, Scenic Rim, Somerset and Lockyer Valley council areas.

Bans have been extended for two weeks in the Toowoomba and Southern Downs region.


- ABC

© ABC 2019

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