Firie reunited with children after 27-long-hours of battling bushfires

When police knocked on Michelle Ludwig’s door at 2am on Sunday, she expected the worst.

Her husband, a rural firefighter, had been away battling the blazes around Yeppoon in Central Queensland all night long and she hadn’t heard from him.

"It was just terrifying, as he was gone and I was with the three kids just watching it all unfold," Ms Ludwig told nine.com.au.

"We were all really worried, and then his phone died so we didn't know if he was safe.

"I thought something happened to him."

But the news wasn’t about her husband, Temil Ludwig. The fires were closing in on the family’s hilltop home and police were there to tell her to evacuate.

Rural firefighter Temil Ludwig being welcomed home by his two daughters.
Temil Ludwig spent 27 hours fighting the fires near Yeppoon in Central Queensland. When he got home, his little girls gave him a hero's welcome. Source: Michelle Ludwig

By the time Ms Ludwig and the couple’s two oldest children, Amira, 4, and Elara, 2, saw their dad again, 27 hours had gone by, and the little girls were understandably beside themselves.

"It was pretty emotional," Mr Ludwig, 36, told nine.com.au.

"It's hard to leave the family.”

Ms Ludwig captured the happy reunion on her phone and posted the footage to her Instagram account, much to the relief of friends of family.

“The girls’ real-life hero is home after 27hrs of fighting fires,” the mum-of-three said.

“Unfortunately they are still burning. But we have him home and safe. So proud of him helping protect homes and properties from the devastating bush fire.”

Temil Ludwig spent 27 hours fighting the fires near Yeppoon in Central Queensland. When he got home, his little girls gave him a hero's welcome. Source: Michelle Ludwig
Rural volunteer firie Temil Ludwig returning home to his family after a very long night of fighting fires. Source: Michelle Ludwig

During Mr Ludwig’s long night away from his family, he said he was able to save to his sister’s place from the fires but many other homes weren’t so lucky.

The couple said more volunteers were desperately needed to help those in the bushfire-impacted areas.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a blaze in Cobraball, near the Ludwig’s home in Yeppoon, continued to be of significant concern. It has claimed 13 of the 14 houses lost in Queensland since late last week.

Winds are already picking up and temperatures in some areas are expected to be 6-8 degrees above average.

Meanwhile, more than 70 fires are continuing to burn across Queensland and firefighters are bracing for dangerous collision of weather systems.

In southern Queensland a severe fire danger warning remains in place, with soaring temperatures and thunderstorms expected on Wednesday.

Michelle Ludwig with her two toddle daughters at their hilltop home in Yeppoon.
Michelle Ludwig and her three little children faced a long, nervous wait to see her husband again. Source: Michelle Ludwig

"We've got another tough day today and there is an extended forecast that we are not out the woods by any means," Acting Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commission Michael Wassing said.

“Leave now” warnings are in place for Kilkivan, at Woodgate, south of Bundaberg, and at Pechey near Toowoomba.

Authorities are most concerned about the sheer size and number of fires burning in parched land that is difficult to access.

There are several fires west of the Gold Coast, including in the Scenic Rim, that officials are anxiously watching.

"We've got really hot, we've got really dry, windy conditions," the Bureau of Meteorology's Victoria Dodds said.

Conditions are expected to ease on Thursday, but temperatures are heating up further into the weekend.

A severe fire danger warning is in place for the drought-stricken Darling Downs and Granite Belt, the Wide Bay and Burnett region, and the southeast coast taking in Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has asked Queenslanders to put their community above themselves and avoid reckless acts that could spark a fire.

Health officials have warned vulnerable people to stay indoors, with air quality expected to plunge again on Wednesday as smoke from the Queensland and NSW fires spreads.

–– with AAP

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