BAFFLE CREEK FIRE: The view from above. PHOTO: Louis Moore
BAFFLE CREEK FIRE: The view from above. PHOTO: Louis Moore QFES

UPDATE: Captain Creek, Winfield urged to leave immediately

4.20PM: CAPTAIN Creek and Winfield residents are still being urged to leave their properties now, after QFES reissued its 'watch and act' bushfire warnings this afternoon.

The two blazes are travelling northeast towards Captain Creek and south towards Winfield respectively, with the former expected to impact Murphy Rd, Avocado Crescent, Range Rd and Davies Rd.

Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door. 

Residents are reminded to evacuate to Agnes Water Community Centre.

 

12.30PM: RESIDENTS in Captain Creek and Winfield are advised to leave immediately, as it will be too dangerous to drive soon.

An alert from the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said two fast-moving fires are travelling in a northeast direction towards Captain Creek and south to Winfield respectively.

"It is expected (the former) will impact Murphy Rd, Avocado Crescent and Range Rd in the next hour," the alert said.

Power, water and phone service could be lost, and QFES advises road conditions could get very dangerous in the next several hours.

Residents are told to evacuate to Miriam Vale Community Hall, or stay with friends and family elsewhere.

The Agnes Water Community Centre on 71 Springs Road is also a designated evacuation centre.

 

11.30AM: A LARGE and unpredictable fire travelling towards the Winfield community has triggered Queensland Fire and Emergency Services to issue a 'Emergency Warning' bushfire alert.

Fireys on the ground told the NewsMail embers are jumping Baffle Creek, causing spotting fires on the south side of the waterway.

The fire is expected to have a significant impact on the community within the hour and residents are being told to leave immediately south along Winfield Rd.

In addition, QFES has also issued an alert urging Captain Creek residents to 'leave immediately'.

The blaze is travelling in a north-easterly direction towards the township.

"It is expected to impact Murphy Road, Avocado Crescent and Range Road in the next hour," the update said.

Conditions are now very dangerous and firefighters may soon be unable to prevent the fire advancing. The fire may pose a threat to all lives directly in its path.

Fire crews may not be able to protect your property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door.

The large and unpredictable fire is travelling in a southerly direction.

QFES advised leaving immediately is the safest option, as it will soon be too dangerous to drive.

Follow your bushfire survival plan now. If you do not have a plan, your safest option is to leave immediately if it is clear to do so.

If you cannot leave, identify where you will seek shelter from the bushfire.

If you are not in the area, do not return, as conditions are too dangerous.

Power, water, and mobile phone service may be lost and road conditions may become very dangerous over the next several hours.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

A temporary place of refuge has been established at the Yandaran Hall at 21 Main St, Yandaran.

 

10.34AM: CAPTAIN Creek residents have been advised to prepare to leave as yesterday's bushfire continues to move.

As of 9.50am, the blaze was travelling from the western side of Murphy Rd in a north, north-east direction towards the north-east side of Murphy Rd.

The current bushfire warning level is 'Watch and Act'.

Firefighters are currently working to construct fire breaks in the area.

 

9.35AM: AN URGENT call-out has been issued for food for animals displaced by the fires near Agnes Water.

Food is needed for animals including cattle, pigs, cats, dogs, birds and horses.  

Those wanting to help can donate at 785 Round Hill Rd, Captain Creek, or call Kathy Robertson-Cipak on 4974 7916.  

 

9.30AM: ONE hundred per cent of Rules Beach, Deepwater and Oyster Creek residents have evacuated, according to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Ms Palaszczuk thanks all residents for leaving their properties behind at 9.15am this morning.

This comes after Queensland Police Service said they would start forcibly removing residents refusing to leave yesterday morning.

 

BUSHFIRES IN THE REGION | WHAT WE KNOW:

  • A 'watch and act' advisory is still in place for Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach and Oyster Creek, but QFES still advises residents to leave. As of 5.00am this morning, the extreme large and intense fire is spreading in a southerly direction towards Coast Road. Firefighters are currently conducing backburning near Rules Beach Road.
  • The advice for Round Hill has been downgraded from 'watch and act' to 'advice', with QFES advising residents to stay informed. There is still a fire travelling in a north-easterly direction towards Bousgas Drive and Anderson Way.
  • At 9pm last night, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services downgraded the warning for Mount Larcom and Ambrose, with the fire already passing town.
  • The Bruce Highway has been re-opened from the Calliope cross roads to 5km north of Mount Larcom. Gladstone Regional Council said they are working to clear debris on the highway. However, the township is still closed with police assessing the area.

 

MAP | State-wide bushfires

 

8.30AM: FIREFIGHTERS are managing to get on top of the fire at Baffle Creek.

This morning at a press conference at the Gladstone Police Station, Gladstone Region mayor Matt Burnett said containment lines had been drawn last night.

"They are really getting on top of that fire," he said.

"Unless things have changed early this morning, we're hoping to see some more improvements in that environment.

"Hopefully, Thursday is going to be a better day than Wednesday and Tuesday."

As of 8am, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services  advised the fire was moving in a southerly direction towards Coast Rd.

Power, water and mobile phone service may be lost.

Firefighters are currently backburning near the area of Rules Beach Rd.

Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett and Inspector Darren Somerville have spoken about the situation at Mount Larcom.
Gladstone mayor Matt Burnett and Inspector Darren Somerville have spoken about the situation at Mount Larcom. Mark Zita

 

7:30AM: THE raging bushfire threatening Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Oyster Creek and Rules Beach is still posing a major threat to properties north of Bundaberg, five days after the blaze broke out.

At 5am, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services advised the "extremely large and intense fire is spreading in a southerly direction towards Coast Road".

The fire could have a significant impact on Deepwater, Baffle Creek, Rules Beach and Oyster Creek communities.

"Fire crews are working to contain the fire but firefighters may not be able to protect every property. You should not expect a firefighter at your door. Power, water, and mobile phone service may be lost," a statement read.

"Follow your bushfire survival plan now. If you do not have a plan, your safest option is to leave now if it is clear to do so. If you are not in the area, do not return, as conditions are too dangerous."

Firefighters are currently conducting backburning operations in the vicinity of Rules Beach Rd.

People in the area will be affected by smoke, which will reduce visibility and air quality.

The evacuation centre is the Miriam Vale Community Centre at 41 Blomfield St.

Call 000 immediately if you believe you are under threat.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:

  • Listen to your local radio station or visit the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website for regular updates.
  • Put on protective clothing (e.g., a long-sleeved cotton shirt, boots with thick soles).
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.

If you are leaving:

  • Secure your pets for safe transport.
  • Check for road closures and then advise family and friends of your intended travel route.
  • Take your important documents and essential items (e.g., passports, birth certificates, prescription medication, food and water, and protective clothing) when you leave.
  • Drive with caution in low visibility conditions.

If you are unable to leave:

  • Bring pets inside; restrain them with a leash, a cage, or inside a secure room; and provide them with plenty of water.
  • Move flammable materials such as doormats, wheelie bins, and outdoor furniture away from your house.
  • Fill containers such as your bath, sinks, and buckets with water so you have access to drinking water and firefighting water.
  • Close windows and doors, sealing the gaps under doors and screens with wet towels to keep smoke out of the house.
  • If you suffer from a respiratory condition, keep your medication close by.

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FURTHER INFORMATION:

This is a developing story. Updates to follow.