Mount Maria bushfire
Mount Maria bushfire

‘Blowing a gale’: Lowmead surrounded by thick smoke

SURROUNDED by thick smoke, residents gathered late this afternoon outside Corson's Lowmead Hotel with an uncertain night ahead.

Dozens of firefighters were in the area battling to protect homes from a dangerous and fast-moving blaze which has forced some to evacuate.

The fire also took its toll on firefighters, with a man aged in his 50s flown to Sunshine Coast University Hospital after he suffered superficial burns to his face, arms and neck and smoke inhalation.

The man, who was helping to fight the fires, was flown at 4pm by RACQ LifeFlight Rescue in a stable condition.

A woman in her 60s, with minor burns to her face, and a man in his 50s, who suffered a medical condition, were driven to Bundaberg Hospital.

Hotel owner Tracey Corson-Crook said she closed the hotel around 3.30pm when a group arrived looking for water to help the man who suffered the burns.

Queensland Ambulance Service treated the man at the hotel and the rescue helicopter landed nearby.

Ms Corson-Crook, also a volunteer with the Lowmead Rural Fire Brigade, said it was the worst fire she had seen since she moved to the area six years ago.

At 6pm she and a group of residents were gathered at a park outside the hotel, prepared to evacuate to Miriam Vale if the fire intensified.

"The wind is picking up quickly, it's blowing a gale," she said at 6pm yesterday.

"We're sitting here watching the smoke and it seems to be getting closer and closer.

"It's thick, it's been thick all day but now it looks like it's only three kilometres away."

At 6.20pm Queensland Fire and Emergency Services issued a leave now warning as the fire was travelling in a south-westerly direction towards Lowmead Rd.

It was impacting residents along Tableland Rd and south and west of Mitchell Rd.

It's believed firefighters have saved 30 homes since the fire started on Sunday, but some water tanks and sheds have been lost.

"They've just saved a property here owned by one of our locals this afternoon," Ms Corson-Crook said.

"The fireys, the SES and the police have done an incredible job." The eastern section of the large bushfire was impacting Cross, Whytallabah, Kirkpatrick and Hills Rds at 6.30pm.

QFES issued an Advice warning last night, informing residents who lived in the vicinity of those roads to keep up to date and decide what actions to take if the situation changed.

Keep up to date

• Visit www.gladstoneobserver.com.au for more stories and information.

• Follow QFES on Facebook (@QldFireandEmergencyServices) and Twitter (@QldFES)

• Stay tuned to your local radio station.

• Visi the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website at www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map

• For bushfire preparation tips, visit the RFS website: www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/BushFire_Safety

• For information about road closures, call 13 19 40 or visit www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au