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Strong Winds Fuel Bushfires Along Australia’s Drought-Ridden East Coast

Strong Winds Fuel Bushfires Along Australia’s Drought-Ridden East Coast”

"There is two kilometres spotting of this fire and we have a significant amount of houses that have been breached by fire", Queensland Fire and Emergency Services north coast chief superintendent Michelle Young told ABC.

"Whilst QFES are doing a great job of getting defence in place, the reality is we (have the) structural loss that occurred and potentially much more loss".

They received reports at midnight of a fire at the top of the D'Aguilar Highway near Benarkin, about 120km inland from the coast.

At least 11 homes had already been destroyed at Binna Burra and the fire was revised to a watch and act level early this morning.

Queensland fire crews are still battling extremely hard conditions as they try to save communities from two huge fires.

"We're still very much in defensive mode", Queensland Fire and Emergency Services assistant commissioner Kevin Walsh said on Sunday.

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services predictive services inspector Andrew Sturgess says the fire danger weather has never been as severe this early in spring.

"I've never seen anything as bad as that".

'The crew would like to praise the fantastic work of the air attack helicopter fire bombers and fixed wing fire tankers working to control the fires in very challenging conditions, ' QGA said in a Facebook post.

Commissioner Mike Wassing said there was still a lot of work to be done on the Stanthorpe/Applethorpe fire but it was not likely to threaten any further homes.

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"Working together with the Bureau of Meteorology, searching through our information documents, we cannot find documents in which fire danger ratings are so high this early in the year at the history of information readily available", the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoted Fitzsimmons as stating.

The bushfire in the Gold Coast hinterland caused extensive damage to the historic Binna Burra Lodge complex.

Acting Queensland Premier Jackie Trad said the severe conditions could be attributed to climate change.

Local Mayor Greg Christensen said damage to the Binna Burra Lodge, built in the 1930s, was "quite extreme". "The fire is expected to have a major affect on the neighborhood", QFES said.

Water bombing is helping the firefighting efforts at the fire near Binna Burra.

"These winds, coupled with the underlying drought affecting much of NSW, has made firefighting extremely hard".

Crews have worked overnight with landholders to protect isolated properties in the area, while a number of tactical back-burns also have been conducted.

One far north Queensland home was burnt down last week, and fires are now burning north of Rockhampton, another near Gympie and one west of Toowoomba, but no homes are under threat in those areas.

"We've had some rain that's created a fuel load there, that has exacerbated the problem there coupled with circumstances on Friday and Saturday that were beyond belief", he told Radio National on Monday.



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