Tourists ordered to stay away from popular holiday spot as fire rages

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

Queensland's world heritage-listed Fraser Island will close to tourists from 5pm on Friday as a six-week-old bushfire continues to test firefighters.

Tourists have been ordered to stay away from Queensland's world heritage-listed Fraser Island as a massive bushfire continues to test firefighters.

The six-week-old blaze - which has burned through 74,000 hectares - is expected to flare over the weekend as weather conditions deteriorate.

Access for visitors will close from 5pm on Friday, but people already on the island can stay, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services says.

Fraser Island beach is surrounded by thick smoke from nearby bushfires.
Fraser Island will be closed to new guests while the bushfire continues to burn. Source: ABC

"This is due to the erratic and difficult fire weather conditions we are experiencing there and the movement of the fire in the last 24 hours," Commissioner Greg Leach told reporters.

"Our operations in the last couple of days had limited success in holding the front of the fire.

"If people have plans to head to the island and are on their way there now, they should take the opportunity to turn around."

The blaze is currently about five kilometres north of Kingfisher Bay Resort on the west side of the island.

Extra firefighting crews were being sent to the resort but it had not been evacuated, Mr Leach said.

However, hotter, drier winds with the potential to carry the fire in a southerly direction are forecast over the weekend.

Residents and people supplying essential services are permitted to stay and travel to and from the island.

"This is not an evacuation of the island ... but we are asking everyone to pay attention to the current warnings as the situation could deteriorate," Mr Leach said.

People have also been urged to stay off the island's inland tracks and roads.

The giant blaze is thought to have been started by an illegal campfire on October 14.

Numerous campsites in the north of the island have previously been evacuated.

Fraser Island is about 250km north of Brisbane and is the world's largest sand island at 123 km long.

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