BIG GUNS: A Boeing 737 Large Air Carrier drops 15,000l of water at a time on the blaze, south-east of Gympie.
BIG GUNS: A Boeing 737 Large Air Carrier drops 15,000l of water at a time on the blaze, south-east of Gympie. Warren Lynam

Disaster on Gympie's doorstep today

GYMPIE region residents face a new day of danger with no chance of relief as the worst wildfire emergency in Queensland's history heads our way.

Fires have been reported in the Teewah area, meaning the danger has reached Cooloola, with Rainbow Beach, Tin Can Bay and the Toolara forest area now within reach of disaster.

From Peregian Beach to Lake Weyba residents were told yesterday to leave immediately or be trapped where they were.

 

Emergency Services fight to control the fire at Peregian.Aircraft fight the fire from the air.
Choppers join the fire fight. Warren Lynam

"It will soon be too dangerous to drive," fire authorities warned in their late afternoon update.

 

000 caller and Peregian Springs resident Ian Martin captured the moment the fire started in the bush along Koel Circuit and then turned into a raging bushfire.
THE START: 000 caller and Peregian Springs resident Ian Martin captured the moment the fire started in the bush along Koel Circuit and then turned into a raging bushfire. Ian Martin

"Follow your bushfire survival plan now," the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Newsroom website advised in its 4.25pm bulletin.

Those without a detailed and workable survival plan have been told "your safest option is to leave immediately."

By later this morning, that could well be the situation anywhere within a parched Gympie region, from Rainbow Beach and Double Island Point to Imbil and Goomeri and from Tiaro to Cooroy and Wolvi.

"If you cannot leave," the authorities have now warned nearby residents to the south-east, "identify where you will seek shelter."

Affected residents working in the Gympie area or anywhere else away from where they live have been advised not to go home. "Conditions are too dangerous," the the bulletin said. It described the Peregian fire as "large and unpredictable and heading north-west."

Gympie mayor Mick Curran said evacuation centres had been established at the Pavilion and Gympie Civic Centre, where people fleeing wild fire could shelter, eat and shower, with temporary bedding installed.