Fires close Cooloola camping grounds on eve of school hols
10 Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews are on their way to the ongoing Teewah Beach bushfire which has now to moved on with a vengeance to Lake Cooloola.
It is causing concern to firefighters as parks and camping grounds in the area have been closed for most of the upcoming school holidays.
Smoke had engulfed much of Gympie and surrounding towns as a result of the westerly-moving fire, with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services upgrading the bushfire warning level to "advice" just before 3pm.
"You need to keep up-to-date and decide what actions you will take if the situation changes," the QFES report stated. The report further stated the fire was "travelling in a westerly direction towards Harry Hut Rd," and people in the surrounding areas would be affected by smoke.
The smoke issue extended further to the region later in the afternoon, with QFES issuing a "smoke alert" just after 4.30pm.
"(The fire) is still producing plenty of smoke which is affecting surrounding areas including Gympie," the alert said.
"If affected, residents should close windows and doors ... Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions."
The fire had done enough for the Department of Environment and Science to issue an alert closing multiple campsites, including the Teewah Beach camping area, "until further notice".
"Teewah Beach camping area, Harry's Hut and Figtree Point camping and day-use areas, all Upper Noosa River campsites and the Upper Noosa River north of Kinaba Information Centre are closed until further notice due to bushfire," the alert said.
"People with current camps set up in areas now closed will need to remove their camp and leave the area immediately. An alternative camping area is Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area.
"The walking track from Campsite 3 to Cooloola Sandpatch has been closed and the entire eastern and western firebreak (also known as the Kings Bore Circuit) is temporarily closed."
QPWS also confirmed the fire had started on September 8 by an abandoned camp fire.
The closures apply until October 1 - the second Tuesday of the school holidays.
QFES declared a local fire ban at least until midnight on Friday for all Gympie, Fraser Coast and Noosa Shire Council areas due to high and very high fire danger forecasts issued by the Bureau of Meteorology.
DES did not respond to queries about the number of campers affected by the closures at the time of printing.