TODAY |

Kiwi firefighters praised for their efforts battling NSW blazes


New Zealand firefighters are being praised for their efforts fighting the Australian bushfires.

Your playlist will load after this ad

The blazes continue to threaten homes and lives, with the death toll now risen to four. Source: 1 NEWS

They've hit the ground running in Queensland, as the death toll is believed to have risen to four

A team of 21 Kiwi firefighters flew in to Queensland on Tuesday to help rural firefighters in Queensland battle against more than 70 fires.  

Queenslanders forced to flee their homes to escape from bushfires are in limbo as crews continue battle against blazes across the state.

Alerts telling residents to leave their properties remain in place for Black Snake, in the Gympie region, and the coastal town of Woodgate, south of Bundaberg, this afternoon.

Fire conditions in both areas have deteriorated and aren't expected to improve in the near term, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services said.

In Black Snake, fire crews are trying to strengthen containment lines while the large, slow-moving fire is burning in the vicinity of the Des Simpson Memorial.

A wind change means the fire is now tracking in a north-westerly direction.

Crews will be backburning along the south-eastern edge of the blaze, in the vicinity of Thornside Road and Upper Thornside Road.

"The fire could have a significant impact on the community," the QFES said, warning power, water and mobile phone services could be cut off.

The Woodgate blaze is burning near Woodgate Road and Woppis Road, travelling towards Walkers Point Road.

Thirty people were sheltering at an evacuation centre at the Isis Cultural Centre in Childers when the day began.

Residents who are evacuating themselves from that fire via Woodgate Road will not be able to return until it is safe.

People in nearby Kinkuna have been told to leave as a fast-moving bushfire closes in, moving in a westerly direction towards Kinkuna Waters Estate.

They have been told to get out along Woodgate Road towards Goodwood.

While authorities keep a close eye on the bigger fires, exhausted crews and those who have flown in from other states and New Zealand will make the most of a break in the weather.

That relief won't last long though, with forecasters expecting westerly winds to dominate conditions on Friday as the fire threat intensifies.

The weather bureau warns the westerlies will push extremely dry air back towards the coastal fringe.

"We would expect to see the maximum temperature quickly return to four-to-eight degrees above the November average tomorrow and into the weekend," a spokeswoman said.

"When we combine that with the dry air, we expect to see elevated fire dangers once again as we head toward the weekend."

A large fire is still burning in difficult terrain near the five-star Spicers Peak Lodge on the Southern Downs, but it is not directly impacting properties.

There are a number of fires between Brisbane and the NSW border, including in the Scenic Rim west of the Gold Coast, and a blaze in Cobraball near Yeppoon in central Queensland, where 14 homes have been destroyed.