Leave now: more Qlders told to flee fires

More residents have been told to leave their homes as Queensland braces for another day of dangerous fire conditions.

There are more than 60 blazes still burning across the state, with firefighters braced for high temperatures and hot, dry westerly winds on Friday and into the weekend.

Leave now warnings in place for residents of Woodgate and nearby Kinkuna Waters, south of Bundaberg. A third leave now warning has been issued for Thornside, west of Gympie.

The Cobraball fire near Yeppoon in central Queensland continues to worry authorities given the difficult weather conditions expected in coming days.

The blaze, which destroyed 15 of the 16 homes lost in Queensland over the past week, is 90 per cent contained but that could change when high winds arrive.

Damage assessments are continuing with Queensland Fire and Emergency Services saying the number of homes lost could rise.

But QFES assistant commissioner Tony Johnstone says crews have done a remarkable job protecting property.

“It’s really hard to say how many houses we’ve saved but I’d say in excess of 300 or 400,” he’s told ABC radio.

Temperatures near major fire grounds are expected to soar beyond 30C on Friday and into the weekend.

Almost the entire state is facing high or very high fire danger on Friday and there’s a chance of severe thunderstorms in the southeast that will produce little rain.

The drought-stricken Darling Downs and Granite Belt region, west of Brisbane, is facing severe fire danger for at least the next three days.

© AAP 2019

Qld bracing for dangerous fire threat

Queensland firefighters are working frantically to strengthen containment lines and fire breaks as the state braces for the fire danger to again ramp up to severe levels.

The Bureau of Meteorology has warned conditions will become more dangerous as dry westerlies push extremely hot air across the state on Friday and heading into the weekend.

Many Queenslanders forced to flee their homes remain in limbo unable to return home.

As the fire threat deepens, there has been growing anger after a teenage boy was charged with lighting the Cobraball fire near Yeppoon that has burned for days in central Queensland.

A total of 36 structures – including 14 homes – have so far been destroyed by the massive blaze which is still burning.

“I think everyone is angry and disappointed,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told reporters.

“Thankfully there were no lives lost, but it could have been a different story. I think parents need to sit down with their kids and talk about the consequences of their actions.”

Alerts remained in place for Black Snake, in the Gympie region, and the coastal towns of Woodgate and Buxton, south of Bundaberg, on Thursday afternoon.

In Black Snake, the large, slow-moving fire is burning near the Des Simpson Memorial and a wind change has sent the fire tracking in a northwesterly direction.

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

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

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

There is a second warning for Buxton residents in the same area.

Residents of Noosa North Shore have been allowed to return home after being evacuated twice in one week.

More than 70 fires are burning across the state since the current crisis erupted a week ago.

While authorities keep a close eye on the bigger fires, exhausted crews face another challenge on Friday as the temperatures rise and the fire threat intensifies.

The weather bureau warns the westerlies will push extremely dry air back toward the coastal fringe bringing a low-intensity heatwave.

Severe isolated storms cells have also been forecast to potentially bring dry lightning which could ignite further fires.

“The story is one of very high fire dangers or severe fire danger ratings for the next three days over the weekend,” BOM forecaster Richard Wardell said.

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.

© AAP 2019

“Things like this don’t happen to people like me” Young mum $1M richer after Lotto win

A Queensland mum in her 20s says a bad year has turned into an excellent one after becoming an instant millionaire overnight.

The woman, from Cairns, was the only player across the country to hold a division one winning entry in last night’s Gold Lotto draw.

The lucky woman revealed she checked her ticket every half hour because she didn’t believe she had won.

“I found out last night. I was watching some TV and just thought I’d check my ticket and that’s when I saw I’d won division one!” she told a Golden Casket Official this morning.

“I screamed so loud when I found out. I couldn’t believe it!

“I checked the ticket every half an hour. I only got about four hours sleep last night because I kept waking up my husband to check the ticket.”

The shocked player said “Things like this don’t happen to people like me.”

“How could I be a millionaire?

“This is just insane” she said.

When asked how she planned to enjoy her million-dollar windfall, the young woman said it would help set her family up for the future.

“We are a young family so it will help us get ahead,” she explained.

“We will buy our first home and get a new car.

“We’ve been through a bit of a rough time so this will help so much.”

The winning numbers in last night’s draw were 18, 41, 44, 19, 38, 43 and 15 while the supplementary numbers were 14 and 42.

Bush fire

Teenage boy charged over blaze that destroyed Qld homes

A TEENAGER has been charged with allegedly starting the bushfire that destroyed 14 homes near Yeppoon in Central Queensland.

Queensland Police confirmed on Thursday that officers have spoken with a 16-year-old male, who will be dealt with under the provisions of the Youth Justice Act.

The Cobraball blaze erupted around 1.30pm on Saturday, forcing residents to flee their properties.

It’s understood the fire destroyed more than a dozen homes and at least 28 sheds.

The incident has prompted authorities to issue a warning to parents, encouraging them to chat with their kids about the consequences of lighting fires.

“At this time of heightened danger and following the declaration of a State of Fire Emergency, the community is asked to work with authorities to prevent fires,” Qld police said.

“Parents and carers are urged to speak to their children about the consequences of lighting fires in this time of heightened danger.”

If you believe you or your property is under threat, call Triple Zero 000 immediately.

Stay up-to-date by visiting the Rural Fire Service (RFS) website at ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map.

For bushfire preparation tips, visit ruralfire.qld.gov.au/BushFire_Safety.

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

Horse Racing

Qld man charged over alleged horse doping

A MAN has been charged over his alleged involvement in suspected thoroughbred horse doping in Queensland.

Police from State Crime Command’s Queensland Racing Crime Squad charged the 25-year-old Toowoomba man with aggravated fraud on Wednesday.

“It is alleged the man was intimately involved in the purchase and administration of the supplements,” Qld police said in a statement.

It comes following an ongoing investigation into the administration of unregulated performance enhancing supplements designed to avoid detection in racing officials’ testing system.

Three people have already been charged as part of the operation.

The man is due to appear in the Toowoomba Magistrates Court on December 2.