‘Not out of the woods yet’: Acting Premier addresses bushfire situation
THE Coast is being warned similar conditions that brought about the Peregian bushfires are likely to develop again this weekend.
At a press conference in Noosa on Tuesday afternoon, Acting Premier Jackie Trad said despite authorities gaining some measure of control of fires around Peregian, "we're not out of the woods yet".
"Winds will pick up this afternoon," Ms Trad said.
"We will get cooler conditions over the next couple of days, and hopefully humidity will increase, but we will see a return to unseasonally high temperatures by the weekend which will create more concerning conditions."
Ms Trad was speaking at Noosa Junction's The J where many evacuees from the fires camped overnight, and there is no word yet on when they will be able to return to their homes.
She was joined by Noosa mayor Tony Wellington and Noosa MP Sandy Bolton, both of whom spent the whole night at the evacuation centre.
Assistant Commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Gary McCormack and Police Acting Superintendent Jason Overland were also at the press conference.
Ms Trad praised the "herculean" efforts of the services and volunteers, along with the residents who heeded the warnings.
"Last night's efforts were nothing short of herculean and the outcomes nothing short of a miracle," Ms Trad said.
"The fact we had such a strong firestorm in such a heavily populated part of the Sunshine Coast that resulted in no fatalities, no missing persons, one destroyed home and one damaged home is nothing short of a miracle."
Mayor Wellington said the bushfires were "the sort of incident you spend years preparing for and hope you it will never happen".
"And yesterday it happened," he said.
"In a very rapid period of time we had to evacuate 2500 properties and over 5000 residents.
"That was a pretty gargantuan effort."
Ms Bolton said up to 112 fire trucks had been involved in the fire-fighting on-site "in literally saving our community".
She also thanked the RSPCA among other services for offering to feed evacuated families' pets.
"Thanks to all the evacuees' (whose) spirits have remained high, and we will be with you again tonight and hopefully, cross fingers we'll get to see you go home tomorrow," Ms Bolton said.
Mr McCormack said while the Coast had been through a "treacherous" period, "we've come out in a good position".
"Today we've had an aerial assault on this fire and managing to hold a solid position however still have front of the fire not contained and not controlled," he said.
The Boeing 737 waterbombing aircraft would drop 15,000 litres of fire retardant gel in front of the fire rather than on it, as a single use action of the plane before it has to return to NSW to help with fires in that state, he said.
Of the current weather conditions Mr McCormack said "At the moment the southeast wind is picking up so we're expecting 40-50 km/h consistently this afternoon, but we will not leave the fire until we're 100 per cent confident we have that contained".
"Under those wind conditions it's unlikely we will reach that position today."