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Coolum blaze: Bushfire could burn until end of week

COOLUM FIRE

  • An out-of-control bushfire threatens homes near Coolum 
  • Coolum Surf Club has been opened as an evacuation centre
  • The fire started in a national park and broke containment lines on Thursday afternoon
  • The fire burned an area of more than 540ha

UPDATE MONDAY 4.40PM: Fire crews will this week monitor the "dormant" remnants of the weekend's bushfire in case they flare up again.

Rural Fire Service Queensland Sunshine Coast area director Gary Seaman said swampy country south west of Peregian Springs and north west of Coolum's industrial estate could smoulder for days.

"We are not expecting too much of that but we are going to keep our eye on it," Mr Seaman said.

He said one rural fire crew, one Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service crew and one Sunshine Coast Regional Council crew patrolled the fire area on Monday.

They cut down burning trees, extinguished flare ups and looked for potential ignition points.

Mr Seaman said they received some calls from Arcoona Rd residents after fires flared up.

"As the vegetation starts to dry out you always get hollow logs that come to light."

But he said overall, the fire had been brought under control.

"It was a huge effort.

"It was very trying.

"It was very hot."

A positive to come from it was the reduction in fire fuel.

"We won't have any trouble in that area for quite a few years."

He called on anyone who saw fires or smoke columns in the area to call 000 immediately.

Meanwhile, Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson has called for a review of hazard reduction burns near major roads such as the Sunshine Mwy and Bruce Hwy.

"The word I'm getting back is that Main Roads corridors need better controlled burns in regard to fuel loading," Ms Simpson said.

She said the coordinated efforts of the various emergency services were extremely impressive during the fires.

"It makes you proud to be an Australian. Volunteers and professionals working together to a great outcome. They are outstanding."
 

SUNDAY 8.50AM: Fire crews are remaining on scene as the Coolum bushfire continues to burn near Arcoona Rd, Yandina-Coolum Rd, Heron Rd and Doonan Bridge Rd this morning.

The fire is contained and there is no threat to properties, with last night's rain helping crews take the sting out of what had been a raging blaze for the best part of three days.

Crews will keep monitoring the fire this morning and throughout today with residents advised a smoke haze will linger around the area over the next few days so anyone suffering respiratory illness should close windows and doors and keep medication close.

Motorists in the area should also be careful as there could be smoke over roads hindering visibility.

If you spot active fire or feel your home is under threat then call Triple-0 (000) immediately.

The fire continued to burn as fire crews did back burning to help control the inferno.
The fire continued to burn as fire crews did back burning to help control the inferno. john mccutcheon

SATURDAY 4.50PM: Multiple fire crews will remain monitoring the Coolum bushfire this afternoon and into the night but the epic blaze has now been contained.

A soaking rain this afternoon aided crews working to fight the fire and there is no threat to any properties at this stage.

The fire continues to burn near Arcoona Rd, Yandina-Coolum Rd, Heron Rd and Doonan Bridge Rd but it appears the battle may have been won by firies and emergency services after a three-day marathon.

A smoke haze could affect surrounding areas QFES media has advised so residents should close windows and doors and keep medications nearby if suffering a respiratory illness.

3.55PM: Police have revoked an emergency situation in Coolum this afternoon following a series of grass fires today.

The declaration was made under the Public Safety Preservation Act at 2pm and revoked at 3pm due to the rainfall.

All roads are now open.

Emergency services remain in the area and urge locals and motorists to remain vigilant and drive with care.

Emergency workers will continue to monitor the situation and will issue advice should the situation change.

2.15PM: Police assisting with the response to the on-going bushfires at Coolum have again declared an emergency situation.

The declaration was made at 2pm and with its the boundaries encompassing: Yandina-Coolum Road at the intersections with Quanda Road and Arcoona Road, to Doona Bridge Road, Verrierdale Road, Dean Road, Eumundi Noosa Road, and Emu Mountain Road to the Sunshine Motorway.

Current road closures:

  • Perigian Springs Drive and Doonan Bridge Road.
  • Doonan Bridage Road - 3kms from the intersection of Doonan Bridge Road East.
  • Intersection of Verrierdale Road and Jaciman Road.
  • Dalia Road and Doonan Bridge Road.
  • Arcoona and Doonan Bridge roads.

1.50PM: MOTHER Nature could be the saviour this afternoon with rain and thunderstorms predicted to hit in the next few hours.

Relentless backburning has been carried out all day in a bid to contain the blaze which was expected to shift north-west towards Verrierdale, spurred on by south-easterly winds.

But it appears the weather may have also joined forces with firies, with Weatherzone senior meteorologist Jacob Cromer advising 15mm of rain is set to fall this afternoon, with the possibility of up to 30mm in some areas.

Coastal showers from the south couples with storms from the west are set to drench the Coast, with Maroochydore and Caloundra set for heavy showers as well as some inland areas, with the hope those showers will douse the flames of a bushfire that has burned for the best part of the last three days.

Mr Cronje said winds had also dropped off quite significantly in more good news for firies.

 

UPDATE 12.40PM: Rural Fire Service area chief Gary Seaman says he's confident enough has been done to protect the southern end of Peregian Springs with containment lines in place.

He said the main concern was if the south-easterly winds drive the flames behind Peregian Springs and up towards Verrierdale.

Mr Seaman is confident the fire can be contained if that does happen and said water bombers will be called in if the blaze heads towards Verrierdale.

He said the bombers would be used as some of the bushland was simply inaccessible for ground crews.

State Emergency Service volunteers are reassuring Peregian Springs residents that the bushfire is under control and no need to panic.
State Emergency Service volunteers are reassuring Peregian Springs residents that the bushfire is under control and no need to panic. john mccutcheon

11.45AM:   There are fears the Coolum bushfire could flare again and threaten homes with strong winds set to return this afternoon.

A south-easterly change is expected to bring wind gusts of more than 35kmh by about 1pm..

The deteriorating conditions could flare the bushfire again and send it roaring north towards homes at Peregian Springs.

The State Emergency Service has set up at Lakeside Dr, Peregian Springs, and is doorknocking homes to update residents on the situation.

Water-bombing aircraft and back-burning are being used to strengthen containment lines ahead of the expected change.

Five homes had to be evacuated about 3am today after wind gusts of up to 40kmh made it difficult for firefighters battling the blaze.

The race is on the strengthen containment lines ahead of a wind shift this afternoon.
The race is on the strengthen containment lines ahead of a wind shift this afternoon. john mccutcheon

Rural Fire Service area chief Gary Seaman says the focus is on strengthening containment lines at Peregian Springs in anticipation of the south-easterly change.

He says that will liven up the firefront on the northwestern side of the Coolum Industrial Estate.

Mr Seaman said the fire was either out or contained everywhere else, bar for a few small spots along Arcoona Rd, hence the attention being put on protecting houses at the southern end of Peregian Springs.

About 60-70 personnel are on the fire ground at present. 

10AM: Fire crews have begun back-burning work along properties next to Doonan Bridge Rd, north east of Arcoona Rd ahead of a predicted wind shift today.

As at 10.30am, a large bushfire is burning near Arcoona Road, Yandina Coolum Road, Heron Road and Doonan Bridge Road, Coolum.

There is no threat to property at this time.

Up to 14 crews are working with aerial support to strengthen containment lines.

Large volumes of smoke will affect Peregian Springs and surrounding areas.

Residents are advised to remain vigilant and monitor conditions throughout the day.

Residents are advised to call 000 if they believe their property comes under threat.

>> THE DECISION THAT SAVED A FAMILY'S HOME FROM DEVASTATION

 

9.15AM: Police have revoked an emergency situation in Coolum this morning following a series of grass fires overnight.

The declaration was made under the Public Safety Preservation Act at 2.35am and revoked at 7.30am.

Most roads are open however Coolum-Yandina Road remains closed between Quanda Road and Arcoona Road.

Emergency services remain in the area to monitor the situation and urge locals and motorists to remain vigilant and drive with care.

A large backburning operation is under way ahead of a expected wind shift today.
A large backburning operation is under way ahead of a expected wind shift today. john mccutcheon

 

7.15AM: An emergency situation has been declared in Coolum this morning as spotfires continue to burn around the Coolum and Peregian Springs areas.

The declaration was made at 2.35am and covers the area in Coolum around the boundary of Yandina-Coolum Road, Arcoona Road, Zgragewski Road, McCords Road, Dahlia Road, Doonan Bridge Road West, Heron Road and the Sunshine Motorway.

Yandina-Coolum Road will remain closed between Arcoona Road and Quanda Road for some time.

Police and other emergency services are currently at the scene.

Anyone without a reason for being in the area are being asked to avoid the area.

A QFES spokeswoman said latest advice was a large bushfire was burning near Arcoona Rd, Yandina-Coolum Rd, Heron Rd and Doonan Bridge Rd, indicating there may have been some shift in the winds this morning.

There is no threat to property at this time and 14 crews remain on scene working to backburn and strengthen containment lines.

Firefighters conduct backburning as they attempt to contain a large bushfire at Coolum.
Firefighters conduct backburning as they attempt to contain a large bushfire at Coolum. john mccutcheon

6.30AM: Firefighters have contained a large bushfire that has been burning on the Sunshine Coast since Thursday afternoon.

Residents were evacuated and an emergency situation declared by police as the fire burnt out of control and threatened homes.

Overnight 35 firefighting crews managed to bring the fire under control.

It is currently within containment lines after establishing fire breaks and conducting back burning operations.

The fire has been downgraded from an emergency declaration to an advice message, meaning residents are advised to monitor conditions.

This aerial photo shows the extent of the damage from the Coolum to Peregian Beach fire. Photo: Dave Andrews / Twitter.
This aerial photo shows the extent of the damage from the Coolum to Peregian Beach fire. Photo: Dave Andrews / Twitter.

FRIDAY 10PM: Police have revoked an emergency situation in Coolum following a major fire near a water park.

The declaration was made under the Public Safety Preservation Act at 12.50pm and revoked at 10:05pm.

Residents have been allowed to return home and most roads reopened however Coolum-Yandina Road remains closed between Quanda Road and Arcoona Road due to heavy smoke and small spot fires in the area.

Emergency services remain in the area to monitor the situation and urge locals and motorists to remain vigilant and drive with care.

Fire crews have put in strong containment lines to the east, west and south of an unruly blaze which has wreaked havoc on the Coolum community for more than 48 hours. 

And while he was cautious about being over-confident Rural Fire Service Incident Controller Adam Nicholas said some residents were returning home as winds weakened and temperatures cooled. 

"There's been a definite improvement in conditions, the weather has subdued greatly in the evening and what we now have is milder wind conditions and lower temperatures which has allowed crews to contain and black out fires on southern, western and eastern sides," Mr Nicholas said. 

"Residents of Arcoona Rd are being escorted back to their properties by QPS and SES personnel.

"And Energex has restored power to these area."

Saturday's wind forecast is for southerly winds to strengthen throughout the day and the change in wind direction is set to return the blaze to the area around Peregian Springs. 

On Friday night crews fought heroically in remarkably tough conditions to save houses in that area.

Mr Nicholas said bulldozers had been used to build a large containment line running all the way from along the fire's northern flank. 

He said the containment line now runs from Heron Rd in a south-westerly direction to link up with the bottom of Doonan Bridge Rd. 

"They've pulled off a spectacular result," Mr Nicholas said before describing how several agencies had collaborated to ensure the community and its property were kept safe. 

Aircraft support has been called off for the night however Mr Nicholas said air-observation will recommence at first light and the water-bombers will be on standby if they are required. 

UPDATE 7.25PM: THE southern, eastern and western fronts of the Coolum bushfire have been contained as a mammoth effort to save houses continues into the night.

Rural Fire Service Queensland operations officer Ken Stockton said the firefront had come within about 20m of a few Arcoona Rd homes on Friday afternoon but did not reach them.

"We knew it was coming," Mr Stockton said.

"We anticipated it."

A fire bomber drops water on the blaze
A fire bomber drops water on the blaze

Bulldozers cut fire breaks around homes on the eastern side of the road as helicopters and an aeroplane dropped water from above.

The area around the southern end of Arcoona Rd and Coolum Yandina Rd was the main focus for firefighting efforts in the lead up to dusk.

Their efforts were successful.

"Nothing is under threat.

"We have lost nothing."

Mr Stockton said crews anticipated allowing Arcoona Rd residents back to their homes later on Friday evening.

He said crews would work into the night ensuring containment lines around the northern edge of the fire in the Heron Rd area at Peregian Springs.

UPDATE 6.50PM:  A QFES spokeswoman says no structures have been lost so far as a bushfire continues to blaze its way along Arcoona Rd, headed south-west towards Yandina-Coolum Rd.

The emergency warning has been downgraded one notch to watch and act for residents around Arcoona Rd and Yandina-Coolum Rd.

Thirty-seven fire crews continue to battle the blaze and water bombing efforts are continuing, although for how much is unclear with daylight fading.

A number of crews will continue working through the night and firies have warned there will be significant smoke around Coolum and surrounding suburbs tonight and tomorrow.

Fire no longer a threat to property.
Fire no longer a threat to property.

Back-burning and firebreak clearing was also being undertaken around Arcoona Rd this afternoon.

Firies have asked people to avoid the area if possible.

Yandina Station owner Neil Newman said he'd brought his cattle in close to the homestead this afternoon and was preparing to bunker down for the night.

He said he felt the conditions had eased somewhat this afternoon, but was waiting nervously to see what tomorrow's conditions were.

A council spokeswoman said the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm at Valdora was not under threat at this stage although a number of the council's environmental assets had been damaged.

"Based on inspections earlier today, we can advise the southern and eastern portion of Doonan Creek Environmental Reserve have been affected by the bush fire," she said.

Corbould Rd Bushland Conservation Reserve has been burnt along with parts of Arcoona Rd Bushland Conservation Reserve.

Parts of Stumers Creek Riparian Reserve were also burnt today but it was unclear what assets like trails had been impacted.

Council officers would undertake assessments once it was safe to do so.

"It is important to remember that these reserves are fire adapted ecosystems, rely on fire for their long term health and will recover," the spokeswoman said.

UPDATE 6.15PM: THE Queensland Fire and Emergency Service is advising residents on Arcoona and Yandina Rd in Coolum their properties will be impacted by fire in the next two hours. 

"The large, fast moving, fire is travelling in a south westerly direction," a QFES statement read. 

"Residents are advised that if their plan is to relocate or they do not have a plan then they are advised to relocate now. Leaving well ahead of a fire is the safest option for survival.

"Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable."

There are presently 37 fire crews working to contain the blaze and four water bombing aircraft are continuing to support the on-the-ground personnel. 

"Smoke may affect residents in Coolum, Peregian Springs and surrounds into the evening and tomorrow. Residents should close windows and doors and keep medications close by if suffering from a respiratory illness," the QFES statement read. 

"Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions and be aware of emergency services personnel working in the area."

UPDATE 5.10PM: Arcoona Rd resident Lisa Hinds' pool was filling with ash and a bushfire was bearing down on her when she decided to flee her home of 13 years.

Ms Hinds is waiting at a friend's house in Tewantin for news on how her home has fared.

She left about 11am, four hours before police closed her road off to public access.

It was her second evacuation in 24 hours, having left about 8pm Thursday to return at dawn on Friday.

She took her dog Duke and parrot Freedom as well as photos and jewellery.

Dark smoke rises from the blaze
Dark smoke rises from the blaze

BREAKING: Police have now set up a road block at the intersection of Yandina-Coolum and Valdora roads. No traffic is permitted through. Arcoona Road remains completely blocked to traffic.

"There is nothing more I can do," Ms Hinds said.

"I would rather be away from the smoke to be honest."

She said she was in shock, unsure how to feel about the prospect of losing her home.

"You've got your animals, you start again.

"Whatever is going to happen in going to happen."

UPDATE 5PM: Yandina Station owner Neil Newman says he can see plumes of thick smoke billowing over the ridge to the east of his property where a raging bushfire cuts its path through Arcoona Rd, Yandina-Coolum Rd and Zgarjewski Rd.

"It's on the other side of the ridge at the moment but we can see these massive plumes of smoke coming over the top," he said.

"It is big, black."

He said crop dusters had joined the fight alongside three helicopters.

Mr Newman said the helicopters seemed focused on the southern end of Arcoona Rd, an area another nearby resident Ian Christesen described as "out of control".

Mr Newman said he could see all of Toolborough Rd at the moment, but a north-easterly wind was pushing the flames south-west.

He was concerned the flames may jump Toolborough road and race up and over the ridge and said he and neighbours were discussing their bushfire plans now should a shift in winds drive flames directly towards them.

"This could be anything. It could get to anything," he said.

"It's such a worry, you know. It's desperately dry."

Meanwhile Mr Christesen said he'd seen what looked like some focus on the northern end of Arcoona Rd from the fixed-wing aircraft.

He assumed that was being done to prevent spotfires jumping Zgarjewski Rd and cutting a path towards Verrierdale.

"All the southern end of Arcoona is just a mess," he said.

"I can just see thick smoke. It's just so intense there. It's unbelievable, relentless."

UPDATE 4.34PM: Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) is advising residents in the vicinity of Arcoona Road and Yandina Coolum Road to leave the area now if the path is clear to do so.

At 4.30pm a large bushfire was located at Coolum. The large, fast moving fire is travelling in a south-westerly direction and is currently impacting Arcoona Road and is expected to impact Yandina Coolum Road within the hour.

This fire is moving quickly and is currently uncontrolled. Spot fires are likely to start up to four kilometres ahead of the fire front and embers are also being thrown from the fire.

The fire is expected to impact on the Coolum community and some property may be lost. Power, water and mobile phone supplies may be lost in the area over the next several hours.

It will be very hot and windy and as the fire approaches it will become increasingly difficult to breathe.
Residents are strongly advised to leave now if they are able to do so. Leaving is the safest option for survival.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Currently, 37 fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents leaving the area should access family and friends away from the location of the fire. If this is not possible, the Coolum Surf Club has been identified as an evacuation point by Sunshine Coast Regional Council.

Residents with horses can go to the Nambour Showground. Anyone leaving the area should do so via Doonan Bridge Road, as advised by the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

- Putting on protective clothing;
- Drinking lots of water;
- Moving car/s to a safe location;
- Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds;
- Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water;
- Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;
- Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items;
- Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;
- Filling containers with water - eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins;
- Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);
- Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready; and
- Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives.


Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if they believe their property comes under threat.

Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) website at https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au or listen to local radio.

For information on current bushfire incidents visit https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map

Mike Middleton

UPDATE 4.10PM: Residents evacuating the emergency warning area around Zgarjewski Rd, Arcoona Rd and Yandina Rd Coolum with horses can take them to Nambour Showground. 

The bushfire warning remains in place, but as of 4.10pm no homes on Arcoona Rd had been lost. 

Firefighters are continuing to back burn around properties in the area. 

Peregian Springs State School enacted an evacuation as a precaution earlier this afternoon.

Students from all year levels had been at the school to meet their new teachers and drop book packs off to their classrooms about 2.30pm when the evacuation was ordered. 
 

 

UPDATE 3.45PM: Sunshine Coast Council has just advised the Coolum Surf Life Saving Club has been opened as an emergency shelter for those that need it.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Service spokeswoman has also confirmed two extra aircraft have been called in to help fight the blaze and they were refuelling at Sunshine Coast Airport a short time ago.

UPDATE 3.30PM: Ian Christesen, president of community group OSCAR, says he's waiting to see whether his and neighbouring homes would still be standing as a raging bushfire bears down on Zgrajewski Rd and Arcoona Rd.

Staying at his son's place at Peregian Beach, Mr Christesen said his neighbours and a mate staying at his place were packing their cars and evacuating in the next 10 minutes.

He's asked his mate to park his car under the house, made of polyurethane, hopeful it will escape unscathed, but he fears the timber deck may not.

Sprinklers have been wetting down his house for the past four hours and the gutters are cleared and now it's a waiting game to see whether it's enough to save the property.

"There's nothing I can do now," Mr Christesen said from Coolum.

He said it was the driest he'd seen conditions in the 18 years he'd lived there.

As we spoke he described a spotfire starting up just behind Coolum Christian College which he said was now going strong.

Mr Christesen said the fire looked to be concentrated around the Coolum Christian College end of Arcoona Rd and said it was very difficult to see, describing the area as black all along Arcoona Rd.

"I can't see anything out here now," he said.

UPDATE 3PM: Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) is advising residents in the vicinity of Arcoona Rd and Yandina Coolum Rd to leave the area now if the path is clear to do so.

At 3pm a large bushfire was located at Coolum.

The large, fast moving fire is travelling in a south-westerly direction and is currently impacting Arcoona Rd and is expected to impact Yandina Coolum Road within the hour.

This fire is moving quickly and is currently uncontrolled. Spot fires are likely to start up to four kilometres ahead of the fire front and embers are also being thrown from the fire.

The fire is expected to impact on the Coolum community and some property may be lost. Power, water and mobile phone supplies may be lost in the area over the next several hours.

It will be very hot and windy and as the fire approaches it will become increasingly difficult to breathe.

Residents are strongly advised to leave now if they are able to do so. Leaving is the safest option for survival.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Currently, 30 fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

-Putting on protective clothing;
-Drinking lots of water;
-Moving car/s to a safe location;
-Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds;
-Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water;
-Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;
-Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items;
-Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;
-Filling containers with water - eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins;
-Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);
-Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready; and
-Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if they believe their property comes under threat.

Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFSQ) website at https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au or listen to local radio.

For information on current bushfire incidents visit https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map

UPDATE: 2.45pm: Police are evacuating residents in Arcoona Rd at Coolum as the bushfire bears down on homes.

Staff at a school on Yandina-Coolum Road have also been evacuated.

Arcoona and Yandina-Coolum Road from Arcoona to Quandra roads have now been closed to traffic.

People leaving should evacuate Doonan Bridge Road.

Arcoona Rd blocked at Yandina Coolum Rd.
Arcoona Rd blocked at Yandina Coolum Rd. john mccutcheon

Door knocks are being conducted on Arcoona and Leichhardt Rds to advise residents to leave.

Door knocks of Carnarvon Court, Cania Place and Musgrave Drive have been completed.

An emergency declaration is in place, as is a bushfire Watch and Act warning.

Emergency Services are advising residents in the vicinity of Zgrajewski Rd, Arcoona Rd and Yandina Coolum Rd, Coolum to enact their bushfire plans.

 

 

 

UPDATE 1.55pm: Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) is advising residents in the vicinity of Zgrajewski Road, Arcoona Road and Yandina Coolum Road, Coolum to enact their bushfire plans.

At 1.35pm on January 20 a large bushfire was located at Coolum. The large and fast moving fire is travelling in a south-westerly direction and is expected to impact the areas of Zgrajewski Road, Arcoona Road and Yandina Coolum Road, Coolum around 3pm.

This fire is moving quickly and firefighters are experiencing difficulty in controlling it. Spot fires may occur ahead of the fire front and embers are also being thrown from the fire.

The fire is expected to impact on the Coolum community and there is a chance that some property may be lost.

Police are helping evacuate residents areas around Coolum.
Police are helping evacuate residents areas around Coolum. Mike Middleton

Power, water and mobile phone supplies may be lost in the area over the next several hours.

It will be very hot and windy and as the fire approaches it may become increasingly difficult to see, hear or breathe.

Residents are strongly advised to leave now if their plan is to do so or if they don't have a plan. Leaving is the safest option for survival.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Currently, 30 fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected 

property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

-Putting on protective clothing;

-Drinking lots of water;

-Moving car/s to a safe location;

-Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds;

-Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water;

-Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;

-Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items;

-Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;

-Filling containers with water - eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins;

-Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);

-Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready; and

-Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if they believe their property comes under threat.

Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFS) website at

https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au or listen to local radio.

For information on current bushfire incidents visit https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map.

QPS Media

UPDATE 1.50pm: Police have again declared an emergency situation as a bushfire continues to blaze at Coolum.

The declaration was made at 12.50pm and encompasses the area in Coolum around the boundary of Yandina Coolum Road, Toolborough Road, North-arm Yandina Creek Road, Zgrajewski Road, Perigian Spring Drive, Doonam Bridge Road, Emu Mountain Road, Sunshine Motorway and Yandina Coolum Road.

Police and other emergency services are currently at the scene and are assisting with evacuations on Arcoona Road and Doonan Bridge Road.

Anyone without a reason for being in the area is asked to leave.

UPDATE 12.10PM: Blast Aqua Park at Coolum has been closed after police told staff and customers to evacuate the area on the western edge of the industrial estate.

A staff member at the Junction Dr business said there were some customers in on Friday morning but they had since left.

She said the evacuation was a safety precaution.

"We can see smoke but no flames," she said.

Police said no homes were at risk but urged people to stay away.



UPDATE 11.15am: A large grass fire is burning north-east of Arcoona Rd and east of Doonan Bridge Rd, Coolum. 

11 fire crews are working to strengthen containment lines against the blaze, which broke out around 1.45pm yesterday.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services has advised there is no threat to homes at this time.

Water bombing operations are being conducted in the area and crews are on the ground strengthening containment lines.

The fire continues to generate a lot of smoke in the area and residents may be affected throughout the day.

Fire crews will be present on Arcoona Rd conducting operations.

QFES is warning:

  • Residents should close windows and doors and keep medications close by if suffering from a respiratory condition.
  • Smoke can decrease visibility, so motorists travelling in the area should drive with caution and to conditions.
  • Residents should consider taking precautionary measures including:

- Putting on protective clothing;
- Drinking lots of water;
- Moving car/s to a safe location;
- Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds;
- Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water;
- Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;
- Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items;
- Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;
- Filling containers with water - eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins;
- Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);
- Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready; and
- Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if they believe their property comes under threat.

UPDATE 11am: THE calm and regular nature of firefighters' updates helped Peregian Springs resident John Perrin through his first bushfire.

Mr Perrin was in and out of his Sandhurst Cres home on Thursday night as a fire burnt in neighbouring bushland.
Urban and rural firefighters were in the street, at the ready to update residents and fight fire if needed.

Mr Perrin eventually felt safe enough to head to bed about 11pm after backburning had been conducted in nearby bushland.

He understood the fire reached about 100 to 200m from his home at one stage.

John Perrin in front of his Sandhurst Crescent home
John Perrin in front of his Sandhurst Crescent home

"I've obviously never been in a fire before," Mr Perrin said.

"It's quite stressful."

But he said firefighters eased his concern.

"If we really wanted to evacuate we could have.

"Everything was fine though."

He said other residents were also grateful for the support.

"We thought it (the fire) was getting closer but they (firefighters) didn't look stressed at all."

He awoke on Friday morning to a light haze and smell of smoke.

"We are fine today."

UPDATE 10am: 20ha of bushland continues to burn after firefighters contained the blaze that threatened homes in Peregian and Coolum overnight. 

Large amounts of smoke are lingering around the area but Queensland Rural Fire Service Sunshine Coast area director Gary Seaman said the fire was no longer posing a threat to property. 

It is burning mainly in national park bushland and council reserve. 

Firefighters consult the map of the fire ground.
Firefighters consult the map of the fire ground. john mccutcheon

Mr Seaman said the blaze, that is now burning between Heron Rd and the Sunshine Mwy at Coolum, was sparked on the eastern side of the Sunshine Mwy just north of the Yandina Coolum Rd roundabout before jumping across the motorway on Thursday afternoon. 

"There will be an investigation certainly into how it started and why it started," he said. 

Police are this morning at the scene, but said there was nothing at this stage to suggest the fire was deliberately lit.

FIRE GROUND: 20ha of bushland continues to burn.
FIRE GROUND: 20ha of bushland continues to burn. john mccutcheon

UPDATE 9.30am: Firefighters and Parks and Wildlife rangers continue to fight a bushfire that last night threatened homes in Coolum and Peregian Beach, but which has this morning been contained.

Two helicopters are on stand-by in Research St, Coolum, ready to take off for reconnaissance or fire bombing if called on.

Two helicopters are on stand-by at Coolum in Research St as firefighters continue to fight the bushfire that threatened homes overnight, but has this morning been contained.
Two helicopters are on stand-by at Coolum in Research St as firefighters continue to fight the bushfire that threatened homes overnight, but has this morning been contained. john mccutcheon

The Operations Support Unit has been set up in Research St and firefighting crews are working in the area between Heron Rd and the Sunshine Mwy at Coolum. 

Detectives this morning said there was no indication the fire, which broke out in national park early Thursday afternoon, was deliberately lit.

Personnel at the operations support unit in Research St.
Personnel at the operations support unit in Research St. john mccutcheon

UPDATE 7am: The bushfire blazing at Coolum has been contained.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services it is no longer posting a threat to property. 

The blaze that burned through the night destroyed more than 540ha of bushland on both sides of the Sunshine Mwy at Coolum Beach after breaking out in national park early on Thursday afternoon. 

Light rains fell early this morning and winds have been light. 

Crews from QFES and Queensland Parks and Wildlife service remain on the scene of the burn this morning between Heron Rd and the Sunshine Mwy at Coolum.

They will continue to strengthen control lines and monitor throughout the day.

Aerial operations will be taking place, monitoring and extinguishing flare ups.

Police have said there was no indication the fire was deliberately lit.

Sunshine Coast residents may still be affected by smoke throughout the day and are advised to close windows and doors and keep medications close by if suffering from a respiratory condition.

Motorists should drive with caution and to conditions as smoke can decrease visibility on the road. 

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if they feel their property is under threat.  

Residents tensely look south from Peregian Springs. Photo John McCutcheon
Residents tensely look south from Peregian Springs. Photo John McCutcheon

UPDATE 4am: The Sunshine Motorway has reopened after lengthy closures due to a massive bushfire near Coolum and Peregian Springs last night but motorists are being urged to be cautious as smoke still fills the Coast skies.

The emergency declaration made at 4.25pm on Thursday as houses came under threat from the blaze which broke out of a nearby national park was removed early this morning.  It was cancelled at 12.10am Friday.

Police and emergency services warn that fires still dot parts of the region, although these do not pose a threat to property.

Twin bushfires threatened parts of Coolum from about 2.15pm on Thursday, with one threatening a major gas depot.

By 10.20pm, the blaze had torn through more than 330 hectares, stretching from Coolum Beach to Peregian Springs.
 

Firefighters spray a blaze at Peregian Springs
Firefighters spray a blaze at Peregian Springs

 

UPDATE: IN a statement issued at 10.40pm on Thursday, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service said no homes were under threat. 

"A large grass fire is burning near Doonan Bridge Road and Arcoona Road, Coolum and Sandhurst Crescent and Heron Road, Peregian Springs. Currently, multiple fire crews are working to contain the blaze, which broke out around 1.45pm," the QFES statement read. 

"Crews are working to contain the fire by strengthening containment lines. Crews will patrol and monitor the fire overnight. There is no immediate threat to properties from the fire at this time.

"This fire is generating large amounts of smoke, and residents may be affected by the smoke throughout the night.

"Residents should close windows and doors and keep medications close by if suffering from a respiratory condition. Road closures are in place on the Sunshine Motorway."

People driving in the area are being urged to exercise caution due to limited visibility. 

FROM THE SCENE: RESIDENTS in Peregian Springs are remaining calm as emergency services say they may not be able to save homes in the path of a fire burning across more than 330 hectares of bush-land to the suburb's south.

Just less than one hour ago the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service issued an alert saying residents in Doonan Bridge Rd and Arcoona Rd, Coolum and Sandhurst Crescent and Heron Rd in Peregian Springs should enact their bushfire plan.

"The fire is expected to impact on the Coolum community and there is a chance that some property may be lost," the QFES said via a statement. 

Embers are presently flying through the air at Sandhurst Crescent, Peregian Springs however reports from the ground indicate there have been no homes lost at this stage - a fact confirmed by the QFES about 9.15pm.

Stanwich Close resident Jarnah Adamo said she had a bag packed and was ready to go. 

"When we started to see the fire brigade come, panic started to settle in a little," the mother of three said adding that authorities had told her to stay awake and stay alert. 

Fire crews on the scene at Peregian Springs, John McCutcheon
Fire crews on the scene at Peregian Springs, John McCutcheon

Fellow Peregian Springs resident Roz Stuhmcke watched on as firefighters put in a back burn mere metres from her fence. 

 

A firefighter takes a much needed drink amidst the heat of a back burn at Peregian Springs. Photo John McCutcheon
A firefighter takes a much needed drink amidst the heat of a back burn at Peregian Springs. Photo John McCutcheon

"You just hope for the best and hope everyone gets home safe," she said as she hosed down her house and watched embers from the back burn swirl through the air. 

 

Roz Stuhmcke watches on as crews put in a back burn metres from her fence
Roz Stuhmcke watches on as crews put in a back burn metres from her fence

The QFES is presently organising relief crews for its people on the scene.  

UPDATE 8.15PM: THE Queensland Fire and Emergency service says it expects a large bushfire to impact on a number of streets in the next few minutes. 

Residents in a number of areas have been told to enact their bushfire plans. 

Residents tensely look south from Peregian Springs. Photo John McCutcheon
Residents tensely look south from Peregian Springs. Photo John McCutcheon

Homes on Doonan Bridge Road and Arcoona Road, Coolum and Sandhurst Crescent and Heron Road, in Peregian Springs are now under threat. 

The QFES said via a statement the "fire is moving quickly and firefighters are experiencing difficulty in controlling it."

"Spot fires may occur ahead of the fire front and embers are also being thrown from the fire.

"The fire is expected to impact on the Coolum community and there is a chance that some property may be lost.

Emergency services on Sandhurst Cres, Peregian Springs
Emergency services on Sandhurst Cres, Peregian Springs

"It will be very hot and windy and as the fire approaches it may become increasingly difficult to see, hear or breathe.

"Residents are strongly advised to leave now if their plan is to do so or if they don't have a plan. Leaving is the safest option for survival.

Emergency services on Sandhurst Cres, Peregian Springs
Emergency services on Sandhurst Cres, Peregian Springs

"Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

"Currently, multiple fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

"SES are also door knocking in the area to assist residents.

Emergency crews on Sandhurst Cres, Peregian Springs
Emergency crews on Sandhurst Cres, Peregian Springs

"Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

"Residents who are unable to relocate to family and friends can relocate to the incident control point at the corner of Corbould Road and Yandina Coolum Road."

FROM THE SCENE: HUNDREDS of residents are tensely looking south from Peregian Springs this evening as a large bushfire burns towards the suburb. 

Sandhurst Crescent resident John Perrin said he was watching television this evening when he heard a chopper fly low over his house. 

John Perrin in front of his Sandhurst Crescent home
John Perrin in front of his Sandhurst Crescent home

He went outside and was told the flames were just 400 metres from his back fence. 

"I'm just going to hang here until they tell me otherwise," Mr Perrin said.

"If they say evacuate I'm out of here."

Ash Barratt and Tracy Elizabeth, of Peregian Springs where residents are tensely watching a fire to their suburb's south.
Ash Barratt and Tracy Elizabeth, of Peregian Springs where residents are tensely watching a fire to their suburb's south.

Hundreds of Peregian Springs residents have this evening made the walk up to the suburb's water tower to gain a vantage point from which to view the blaze.

Street corners are crowded with concerned faces as southerly winds slowly fan the blaze towards the suburb. 

Fire-crews at Shoal Ct Peregian Springs
Fire-crews at Shoal Ct Peregian Springs

A Queensland Fire and Emergency spokeswoman said there were presently 32 firetrucks and 80 firefighters on the ground struggling to contain the blaze. 

She said crews had undertaken back burning south to north along Cinnamon Road Coolum and east to west south of Brindabella Rd Peregian. 

Crowds gather to watch a bushfire burn at Coolum. Picture: Lachie Millard
Crowds gather to watch a bushfire burn at Coolum. Picture: Lachie Millard

The Sunshine Mwy is expected to stay closed to the north of Coolum Rd - until the blaze has been contained. 

A watch and act order is presently in place for residents in Peregian Springs. 

EARLIER: Residents on the eastern side of Doonan Bridge Rd are evacuating as police go house to house warning them of the fire.

One woman, who did not want to be named, had three dogs and a cat in her car as she headed out her driveway.

She said two police had been around about 20 minutes earlier.

"I'm house sitting," the woman said.

"The owners are away on holidays."

She said thought the property would probably be safe but decided to heed the police warning.

5.35PM: Police have declared an emergency situation in Coolum this afternoon due to a fire.

The declaration was made at 4.25pm and encompasses the area in Coolum around the boundary of David Low Way, Springfield Avenue, Cinnamon Avenue, Park Crescent and Coolum Yandina Road.

Back-burning at Coolum State School.
Back-burning at Coolum State School.

Police and other emergency services are currently at the scene and are assisting with evacuations on Arcoona Road and Doonan Bridge Road.

Officers remain at the scene and will assist anyone without a reason for being in the area are being asked to avoid the area.

A state of emergency has been declared for the area threatened by a bushfire.
A state of emergency has been declared for the area threatened by a bushfire.

5.10PM: Residents are being evacuated as a large bushfire threatens homes in the Coolum and Peregian areas.

Police are door-knocking homes on Doonan Bridge Rd and Arcoona Rd, telling residents to evacuate.

A helicopter fills up at a lake near the bushfire at Coolum.
A helicopter fills up at a lake near the bushfire at Coolum. Mike Middleton

People living in the area between Doonan Bridge Rd and Arcoona Rd, south to Yandina Coolum Rd, east to Cinnamon Ave, Park Cres and David Low Way, and north to Emu Mountain Rd and Peregian Spring Rd are advised to evacuate.

Water-bombing aircraft assist with fighting a large bushfire at Coolum.
Water-bombing aircraft assist with fighting a large bushfire at Coolum.

Properties are under threat. Water bombers are on their way to help fight the fire.

Residents are strongly advised to leave now if their plan is to do so or if they don't have a plan. Leaving is the safest option for survival.

Police speak to residents at the Doonan Creek environmental reserve on Doonan Bridge Rd.
Police speak to residents at the Doonan Creek environmental reserve on Doonan Bridge Rd.

Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Currently, multiple fire crews are working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

Residents who are unable to relocate to family and friends can relocate to the incident control point at the corner of Corbould Road and Yandina Coolum Road.

UPDATE 4.30PM: Major traffic chaos has been sparked by a large bushfire that has closed the Sunshine Motorway in both directions between Coolum and Peregian.

Motorists report David Low Way and the Esplanade at Coolum are completely gridlocked as traffic is diverted off the motorway. 

Sixteen Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews and Queensland Parks and Wildlife crews are at the scene of the fire, which started about 1.45pm.

Strong gusts of wind are making firefighting efforts difficult around Coolum's industrial estate.

A Queensland Fire and Emergency Services spokeswoman said crews from 16 firefighting vehicles were working to contain the bushfire.

She said no homes or buildings were under threat.

The Sunshine Mwy remains closed between Peregian Springs and Coolum.

Thick smoke from a large bushfire burning at Coolum.
Thick smoke from a large bushfire burning at Coolum.

This fire is generating large amounts of smoke, and residents may be affected throughout the afternoon.

Residents should close windows and doors and keep medications close by if suffering from a respiratory condition. Traffic closures are in place on the Sunshine Motorway.

Smoke can affect visibility, so motorists should drive with caution and to conditions. If residents are concerned their property is under threat they are advised to call 000 immediately.

4PM: Firefighters are wetting down the area surrounding the Corbould Rd industrial area in Coolum Beach in an effort to stop the spread of a bush fire to buildings. 

The industrial area, which houses the Elgas Sunshine Coast gas depot, has been evacuated and the Sunshine Mwy closed to traffic in both directions. 

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services urban firefighting crews are continuing with protection measures around the industrial estate, west of the motorway, while rural crews are continuing to battle the blaze in bushland on the eastern side of the motorway. 

A spokesman for QFES said wind gusts and "spot overs" were hampering firefighters' efforts to contain the blaze that broke out in an area of National Park bushland about 1.45pm. 

The fire broke containment lines with the National Park and spread.

Sixteen Queensland Fire and Emergency Services crews and ranges from Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service are fighting the fire, which is burning beside the Sunshine Mwy, just north of the Yandina Coolum Rd roundabout. 

BUSHFIRE: The blaze burns out of control along the Sunshine Mwy at Coolum Beach.
BUSHFIRE: The blaze burns out of control along the Sunshine Mwy at Coolum Beach. Eugene Craddock

The fire is burning within the vicinity of Corbould Rd (west of the motorway), Banksia Ave and Cinnamon Ave and Research St (east of the motorway), Coolum Beach. 

Large amounts of smoke can be seen in the area and QFES is warning residents may be affected. 

QFES has said that no properties are currently under threat from the fire, but anyone who thinks their property may be at risk should phone 000 immediately. 

Coolum Beach business manager Fred Stokes fled the industrial estate when he saw bushfire flames reach the edge of a nearby gas depot.

Mr Stokes, who works at Soil and Stone Factory in Corbould St said the fire seemed to start out small but spread quickly.

He said it appeared to have come across from the eastern side of the Sunshine Mwy and towards the industrial estate.


"I thought it might go past the Elgas plant but it came up directly behind it," Mr Stokes said.

He told his staff to leave the area when he saw flames very close to a large gas cylinder.

"We left it so long and then we got the hell out of here."

3.30PM: Flames are licking the tops of trees as a bushfire blazes beside the Sunshine Mwy at Coolum Beach.

Firefighters were fighting a vegetation fire burning in bushland on the eastern side of the Sunshine Mwy since about 1pm, before rushing to Corbould Rd where bushland was burning.

It is threatening the Elgas Sunshine Coast gas depot.

They were called to the industrial area west of the motorway just before 2pm. 

The Sunshine Mwy is closed to traffic travelling in both directions in the area just north of the Coolum Beach roundabout.

The fire crossed from bushland on one side of the motorway to the other. 

Firefighters are hosing down vegetation between the blaze and businesses in Corbould Rd in an effort to stop the spread of the blaze further towards the businesses and gas depot. 

The area is being evacuated as the fire threatens a nearby industrial estate.

2.30PM: Two bushfires have broken out at Coolum Beach within the past hour, one threatening a gas depot.

Fire fighters have just arrived on the scene of a fire that was reported just before 2pm, burning near Corbould Rd, and billowing huge clouds of smoke into the sky. 

The Sunshine Mwy has been closed to all traffic travelling in both directions.

Crews have been working at the scene of another fire near Cinnamon Ave and Banksia Ave, since 1pm. 

Alexandra Thompson and Alistair Daly were driving back from a day out at Noosa when they saw the smoke.

"We could see it from Peregian and then it got much worse when we pulled into Coles at Coolum," Ms Thompson said.

"We can hear sirens now."