Three Queensland teenagers are being interviewed by police after allegedly boasting on the internet they lit a devastating fire on the Sunshine Coast.
The teens reportedly used a local chat room to admit to lighting the fast-moving Peregian fire on Monday afternoon.
There are conflicting reports about property losses from the fire, which forced hundreds to flee on Monday.
The Peregian Beach Surf and Lifesaving Club posted on its Facebook page they were sent a screenshot of an internet chat room message.
"It has been reported that three teenage boys handed themselves in after the screenshot was passed around by their friends," the surf club posted.
Police wouldn't confirm the teens came to their attention because of the message but have confirmed officers were speaking with the boys over a fire that started in bushland off Koel Circuit in Peregian Springs about 4.30pm on Monday.
No charges have been laid.
Just before 10am, the fire was quickly burning in a northerly direction, from Peregian Beach and Peregian Breeze Estate towards Marcus Beach and Weyba.
Residents in those areas have been ordered to leave.
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Deputy Commissioner Mike Wassing said the loss of two homes and a shed had been confirmed in the Peregian Beach area.
But acting Sunshine Coast mayor Tim Dwyer says only one house is confirmed lost, with 10 other properties suffering varying degrees of damage.
It's believed they include local businesses.
Water bombers are battling the blaze from the sky as crews try to get the upper hand.
"At this stage, it won't be the solution. It's not going to be the magic wand, if you like, but that aerial assistance is certainly something that's very welcome this morning,” Cr Dwyer said.
Emergency warning for Peregian and Marcus Beach
An emergency warning remains in place there after residents were ordered to get out on Monday as the fast-moving fire closed in.
"We will be doing more assessments this morning (Tuesday) and do understand there will be certainly some impact on some other homes given the conditions were absolutely horrendous,” Mr Wassing has told the Nine Network.
The fire is burning on the boundary of the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and the Noosa Shire Council, with about 400 people fleeing to evacuation centres in both areas.
A warning to leave immediately remains in place for Peregian Beach, Peregian Breeze Estate and Marcus Beach.
Mr Dwyer was near the fire front until late on Monday and said the ferocity of the blaze was startling.
"It's really just hard for me to explain it. But just the glow of the flames in the sky last night, the smell of the fire, the look of angst on the faces of the people," he told ABC radio.
He later spent time with evacuees holed up at the Coolum Surf Club, which was serving as a refuge centre.
"The frustration, the angst, the uncertainty. You could just see it written all over their faces. These are really trying times,” Mr Dwyer said.
70 fires burning across Queensland
Sunshine Coast Council disaster management coordinator Cathy Buck says the danger is far from over, with strong winds that fuelled the fire to continue on Tuesday.
"It's still very dangerous on the ground. They are doing everything they can to save as much as they can," she told the ABC.
At the peak of the Peregian fire more than 100 crews were on the ground battling to protect homes, as the fire spotted well ahead of its front.
Dramatic footage has been shared online of sustained ember attacks from the fire, with the night sky glowing orange with burning ash.
There are 70 fires still burning across Queensland, with 12 schools closed on Tuesday in the state's south.
More than 1000 Sunshine Coast properties are without power, after authorities made the decision to cut supplies.
Photographer Lachie Millard, of Peregian Beach, evacuated his toddler and dog to Noosa before returning for precious possessions.
"It was just black smoke coming straight for our house and for our street," he told The Courier-Mail.
The Bureau of Meteorology says winds will remain high on Tuesday, but there will be a slight improvement in conditions.
Hundreds of NSW firefighters battle blazes
NSW firefighters continue to battle several out-of-control bushfires in the state's north, off the east coast, amid fears a southerly change could push one of the blazes towards Yamba.
Fire has already burned more than 7750 hectares in the Yuraygir National Park and Shark Creek in the Clarence Valley area south of Yamba on the coast, where firefighters are trying to protect homes.
"The southerly change forecast is expected to impact the fireground until late morning. This may push the fire further towards Yamba," the NSW Rural Fire Service said on Tuesday.
The fire is burning to the north and south of the villages of Angourie and Wooloweyah villages.
Some 58 fires are burning across NSW, with most occurring in the state's north up to the Queensland border.
To date, six homes have been destroyed in the fires as well as 22 outbuildings, two car yards and a pistol club.
On the upside, the fire services said more than 200 homes in the firegrounds were saved.
The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a high fire danger rating for several regions on Tuesday including the Far North Coast, North Coast, New England, Central Ranges and Greater Hunter. The risk will be very high in the Northern Slopes region.
Meanwhile, more than 40,000 hectares have been fire razed around Long Gully Road near Drake in the Tenterfield area after strong winds fanned the flames on Monday.
"Firefighters worked overnight with property owners along both these roads to protect properties as the fire front approached. The fire has progressed towards Timbarra," the fire service said.
"Strong winds are expected to continue."
There are 'watch and act' warnings for Drake and Shark Creek.
As Police speak to a 12-year-old about starting the fire that sparked the bushfire emergency in Peregian Springs, the Queensland Premier, Federal Member for the area and Sunshine Coast Mayor are together in Switzerland for a meeting with the IOC. #9Today pic.twitter.com/BImgyTKvlb— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) September 9, 2019
Bees Nest inland from Coffs Harbour on the Mid North Coast is also under a 'watch and act' warning.
That fire is burning north of Ebor and north-west of Dorrigo and firefighters responded overnight to multiple calls for assistance to protect properties.
So far more than 66,500 hectares in the area have been affected.
"Strong west to southwesterly winds are currently affecting the area. This will continue to push the fire in a northeasterly direction," the fire service said.
The Bees Nest fire is likely to take weeks to contain due to the dense bushland in the region.
More than 630 firefighters were deployed to fight 60-plus fires burning across the state as of Monday afternoon, many of them still contained.
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