Bushfire threatens homes, triggers evacuations on Russell Island

UPDATE 5:40PM | THE alert level for a bushfire burning on Russell Island has been downgraded from Emergency Warning to Watch and Act.

The large fire continues to burn and is travelling in a south-westerly direction. It is impacting the area bordered by Centre Road west to Hemp Hill Road South, east from Centre Road to Rampart Drive and south.

Multiple fire crews and water bombing aircraft are still working to contain the blaze. Sixty homes are currently under threat, however, no property has been lost so far.


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Residents in the line of fire are still encouraged to relocate to a safer place on the northern part of the Island. An evacuation centre has been set up on Cavendish St.

Residents are urged to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

UPDATE 4:50PM | SMOKE from a large bushfire burning on Russell Island is now drifting over northern Gold Coast suburbs, with ash falling on homes at Upper Coomera and Hope Island.

An emergency warning is in place for the out-of-control blaze which is threatening lives and property on the island. Homes on the island are coming under attack from burning embers and spot fires are igniting ahead of the fire front.

Residents in the line of fire are being evacuated. They are being urged to relocate to a safe place on the northern part of the island.

UPDATE 4:10PM | AN EMERGENCY WARNING is now in place for the large fast-moving bushfire which is threatening lives and property on Russell Island, near North Stradbroke Island, north of the Gold Coast.

The fire is moving quickly towards the south-west and is uncontrolled. Emergency services are warning residents to evacuate to a safe area on the northern part of the Island now if the path is clear to do so.

The blaze is expected to impact the area bordered by Centre Road west to Hemp Hill Road South, east from Centre Road to Rampart Drive and south, in the coming hours.

Authorities warn embers are being thrown from the blaze and spot fires are likely to start ahead of the fire front.

Power, water and mobile phone supplies may be lost over the next several hours. It will be very hot and windy and as the fire approaches it will become increasingly difficult to breathe.

Residents are strongly advised to leave now if they are able to do so. Leaving is the safest option for survival.
Well prepared and defended homes can offer safety during the fire and may be defendable.

Several fire crews and water bombers are currently working to contain the blaze but firefighters will not be able to protect every affected property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) if their property comes under threat.

UPDATE 4PM | SMOKE from a large out-of-control bushfire burning on Russell Island, next to North Stradbroke Island, is being fanned in south-westerly direction over the northern Gold Coast.

An emergency warning is in effect for the blaze (see map below) and police are coordinating the use of taxis and buses to evacuate residents in the line of fire.

Residents south of Hemp Hill Rd and Rampart Rd are being urged to get out now and head to the evacuation centre on Cavendish St.

Residents are urged not to evacuate to Sandy Beach. Police warn the fire may impact this area and people will be cut off.

Redland City Council has activated its Local Disaster Management Centre.

UPDATE 3:30PM | WATER bombing helicopters have been called in to help fight a large bushfire which is threatening homes and triggering evacuations on Russell Island, next to North Stradbroke Island.

An Emergency Situation has been declared for the large blaze, which is moving in a south-westerly direction and is expected to impact the areas of Centre Road and Hume Street within the next two hours.

The declaration was made at 3.08pm and is in effect for the area bordered by Centre Road west to Hemp Hill Road South, east from Centre Road to Rampart Drive, and south.

Authorities are urging residents in these areas to finalise their bushfire plans. Residents are advised that if their plan is to relocate or they do not have a plan then they are advised to relocate now.

Police are also evacuating residents in Pookanah and Bilungra Streets.

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Five fire crews and a water bombing helicopter are currently working to contain the blaze on the island, which is eight kilometres long and almost three kilometres wide.

Firefighters warn crews will not be able to protect every property and residents should not expect a firefighter at their door.

Residents are advised to call Triple Zero (000) immediately if their property comes under threat.

Residents can relocate to the Russell Island Community Centre, near the ferry terminal, if they are unable to relocate to family and friends.

They should consider taking precautionary measures including:

  • Putting on protective clothing;
  • Drinking lots of water;
  • Moving car/s to a safe location;
  • Closing windows and doors and shutting blinds;
  • Bringing pets inside, restraining them (leash, cage or secure room) and providing water;
  • Wetting down fine fuels close to buildings;
  • Removing garden furniture, doormats and other items;
  • Sealing all gaps under doors and screens;
  • Filling containers with water – eg bath, sinks, buckets, wheelie bins;
  • Having ladders ready for roof space access (inside) and against roof (outside);
  • Having a generator or petrol powered pump ready; and
  • Checking and patrolling outside for embers, extinguishing any spot fires and seeking shelter as the fire front arrives.

Regular updated information will be provided on the Rural Fire Service Queensland (RFS) website at https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au or listen to local radio.

For information on current bushfire incidents visit https://www.ruralfire.qld.gov.au/map.

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